Working on a construction site can be dangerous if safety regulations are not met. Every construction company has an obligation to ensure that the worksite complies with OSHA regulations. Any failure to do so can result in fines or worse punishments for the company, as well as serious injuries and a potential loss of life. Fortunately, your company can avoid workplace accidents. In this article, a Nashville OSHA defense lawyer discusses tips to avoid workplace accidents on construction sites.
Understand OSHA Regulations
The first step in avoiding OSHA violations and workplace injuries is to understand the OSHA regulations themselves. OSHA’s regulations are available online for free and they are designed so that every company can use them to implement safety measures. If your company can develop a solid understanding of the safety regulations, it can design safety measures that should keep staff members safe. Working with a Nashville construction litigation attorney is a common way to help your company develop its own safety policies based on OSHA regulations.
Another benefit of understanding the regulations is that you can take appropriate steps to avoid a violation. Simply saying that you did not understand a regulation will not be an acceptable excuse for OSHA. The sooner your company can master the safety regulations, the sooner the company can reduce its risk for an injury-based lawsuit and other potential problems.
Make Safety Equipment Mandatory
Your company can significantly reduce the chances of being involved in an accident or a violation by making safety equipment mandatory. OSHA and state regulations already mandate that construction workers have safety equipment for specific jobs. Construction companies can mandate that employees have safety equipment for any work that they do that could result in a personal injury.
Many construction companies get into trouble with OSHA regulations with the implementation of safety guidelines. Mandating that workers always have construction safety equipment on them at all times means that there will be less of a chance that they won’t use the equipment when they need it. Companies can also be more strict about their enforcement of the use of safety equipment to cut down on the number of times where it is not being used. This should minimize the company’s chances of getting OSHA violations for missing safety equipment.
Keep Construction Areas Organized
With so many things moving around a construction site during work hours, it can quickly become disorganized. That could also mean that certain areas are not safe to be in. Stacks of construction materials, in particular, are a serious problem. Putting materials in the wrong place could make it unbalanced and cause the stack to fall on someone.
The solution to this problem is simple: keep the construction area organized. Every construction site should be thoroughly planned and you should keep to that plan as much as possible. This makes it easier to coordinate deliveries, storage, heavy construction zones, safe zones, and other areas that you need to keep the construction site safe.
Perhaps the most effective countermeasure to safety problems is training. The better trained your staff members are, the better they will be at avoiding safety issues and complying with regulations. Every construction worker should be trained in safe construction work skills. As a company, you may need to sponsor that training to make sure that everyone gets the training that they need. The cost is well-worth the outcome since trained staff members experience fewer safety issues. Discuss your options and responsibilities with a Nashville construction arbitration lawyer to see what level of training your company can and should provide.
There are many ways to get your staff members training. OSHA, among many other organizations, offer training options that can teach construction crew members about the safety regulations and skills that they need to know. New construction workers are usually required to participate in at least some level of training. If you are planning on keeping a staff member long-term, then you may want to consider getting those staff members into higher levels of training to help your company reduce that risk.
Lockout and Tagout Procedures
Many safety organizations, including OSHA, recommend lockout and tagout procedures. Having a lockout/tagout plan greatly decreases the chances of an accident due to machinery and energy-based hazards. OSHA consistently cites companies that fail to plan lockout and tagout procedures. In these cases, the companies generally did not plan their procedures, as evidenced by the fact that they could not produce any of the documentation for them. You can avoid this by working with a Nashville construction litigation attorney to develop lockout and tagout procedures that comply with OSHA standards.
Falls are a serious risk in above-ground construction projects and a large part of that is due to scaffolding issues. Scaffolding can be dangerous for several reasons, including its design, how it is installed, and how it is used. Extra attention should be paid to how scaffolding is set up in projects since OSHA regularly finds problems with scaffolding. Many people are injured every year when scaffolding collapses or workers fall.
Safety equipment and training are an important part of how workers stay safe on scaffolding. OSHA offers training and resources to help with scaffolding safety. Take advantage of it to make sure that you can keep your construction workers safe from falls or collapses since they pose the greatest scaffolding accident threats.
There are many ways that you can avoid workplace accidents. Take advantage of all of the safety training and other resources that are available to make sure that your worksites stay safe. If you have questions about the safety regulations and steps that you can take to improve worker safety, contact a Nashville OSHA defense lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
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.