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A Louisville attorney practicing since 1987

Common safety violations in construction can threaten your life

As a construction worker, you probably know that you work in one of the most dangerous industries in Kentucky, not to mention the entire country. Working long hours with heavy equipment and hazardous materials can put you at risk of being severely injured or even killed. It is for this reason that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces numerous rigid safety standards for the construction industry. Unfortunately, your employers or co-workers might disregard these measures, putting you and others in danger.

OSHA data shows that in 2015, 937 fatal construction worker injury fatalities occurred on the job in the U.S. This represented 21.4 percent of all workplace fatalities that year. Safety violations are responsible for a significant portion of construction site injuries and deaths. The top violations you might see at your jobsite frequently involve what is known in the industry as the “fatal four.” These include falls, electrocution, being struck by an object or being caught in or between objects.

The following points illustrate construction safety measures that are often ignored:

Fall protection

Your employer should protect you and your co-workers against falls by ensuring you have the proper equipment to protect you when working at heights, such as harnesses or guardrails. Scaffolding equipment should be securely constructed and walkways fully surfaced with no gaps or missing planks.

Electrical equipment

Before working on cables and electrical wires, shut off electricity and check the ground or insulation of equipment. You should ensure your power tools are in good repair, with no frayed cords or signs of electrical malfunction.

Industrial machinery

You and your co-workers should take strict precautions involving heavy machinery and construction vehicles. Always be aware of your surroundings and be cautious around moving parts and vehicles.

Proper education and observance of your workplace’s safety standards can significantly increase your chances of doing your job safely and efficiently.

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