If you work in construction, you are part of a rewarding yet dangerous industry. Construction professionals do the important work of building our nation; however, this hands-on career path comes with its downsides. One of these is the rate of injury and fatality when compared with other industries.
A Dangerous Profession
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported that 21.1% of private industry deaths in calendar year 2016 were in construction, accounting for 991 of the 4,693 worker fatalities in private industry. Falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between, known as “the fatal four,” were largely to blame.
Highway construction is particularly dangerous. From 1982 through 2014, an average of about 750 individuals per year (24,745 total) were killed in work zone crashes. Over half the fatalities caused by run-overs or back-overs involved construction vehicles.
Highway construction zones are dangerous for workers and motorists alike; in fact, contractors can be held liable if their negligence causes a construction zone auto accident involving damages, injury, or death.
Know the Safety Plan Inside and Out
Every construction site should have safety rules and regulations; for a highway construction site, this includes a traffic control plan. This plan should be tailored to the specific work zone, taking into account the volume, speed, and flow of surrounding traffic. It should also take into account jobsite traffic, including foot traffic and the paths along which trucks and other construction vehicles will be driven. Of course, safety issues regarding things other than transportation should be addressed as well.
Before work begins, you and your team should know the safety plan like the back of your hand.
Remember, your safety plan is your first line of defense. Staying vigilant about highway work zone rules and regulations can help prevent accidents and the consequent need for a Clearwater construction attorney.
Start With a Safety Meeting
Even if your employees know the rules, keeping them fresh in everyone’s mind helps ensure safety. In addition to the proper foundational training that is required, it is wise to hold a brief safety meeting before daily work commences. These meetings shouldn’t be word-for-word the same every day. Weather conditions vary and any changes can impact the workday. A quick check to make sure workers are all wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) is also wise.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.