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Accidents taking place on construction sites can result in devastating and life changing injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, internal bleeding, broken bones, and even fatality. Of the 4,693 workplace fatalities taking place in 2016, over 20 percent resulted from construction site accidents. Most construction worker fatalities are caused by the fatal four, consisting of falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught-in or between objects. Using proactive strategies can help reduce the number of construction site fatalities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth a wide variety of construction safety standards, including those related to fall protection, scaffolding use, respiratory protection, machinery guarding, control of hazardous energy, ladder use, and the operation of powered industrial trucks. Construction site managers should adhere to OSHA’s safety standards as a way of improving construction site safety.
Construction site safety begins with the example of supervisors and managers who play an integral role in creating a safe workplace. When workers observe senior management focusing on the importance of worker safety through the implementation of safety training and emergency planning steps, it can lead to a culture where safety takes priority. At many construction sites, the day begins with an informal safety talk to provide important information about the safest tools, equipment, materials, or processes to use on that job. These tool box talks have been shown to promote a greater worker understanding of safety expectations and safety discussions on construction sites.
Many workers express hesitancy to report risky construction site issues. Construction workers should be encouraged to report safety issues, which can help prevent future accidents. Managers should reassure workers that there will be no retaliation for safety reporting.
Workers should be provided with the proper tools and personal protection equipment before undertaking a construction project. Providing safety gear, such as goggles, hard hats, or proper footwear, should go hand in hand with installing appropriate safety nets or scaffolding for the construction site. Proper zoning to block off dangerous areas and the elimination of hazardous distractions or obstructions are additional ways to improve the safety of every construction site.
Digital technology can improve both the efficiency and safety of construction sites. Project managers can use unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones, to assess immediate safety concerns through remote site inspections and safety audits. Safety data from construction sites can be instantaneously shared to workers and onsite supervisors using project management software, smartphones, and tablets. Providing construction workers with wearable digital technology, such as smart watches or augmented reality glasses, can result in instant safety improvements on construction sites.
Digital technology resources can improve medical response times when an accident occurs and trigger alarms to improve emergency procedures in the event of an evacuation or hazardous condition. These digital technological resources include free iOS applications that can be easily installed and used by all types of construction companies.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at a construction site, the experienced Delaware construction accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you obtain compensation for these injuries. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With office locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.