Working at a construction site is considered an inherently dangerous job-workers are more likely to fall, get hit by falling objects or electrocuted, than most other jobs. Many of the risks associated with the workplace have been identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and they publish standards so that employers can take the steps necessary to create a safe working environment and reduce construction workers’ accidents.
The most common workplace accident in the construction industry is that caused by falling. Standard number 1926.501 lays out an employer’s duty to have fall protection for Massachusetts’s employees as those across the country. Employers are required to provide fall protection systems for their employees.
It is an employer’s duty to ensure that the surface their employees are working on has structural integrity and the strength to support their weight safely. They will not be allowed to work on those surfaces if they are unsafe. If the sides are unprotected and they are a specific height above the lower level, the surface should be protected by a guardrail, personal fall arrest system or safety net system. In fact these fall protection steps need to be taken in a number of situations, including when employers are dealing with leading edges, surfaces with holes and hoist areas. These are just a brief overview of the various steps an employer must take to ensure their workers’ safety.
When a construction worker is injured in a workplace accident because their employer failed to take the requisite steps to protect them, they have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. This claim can cover lost wages and medical expenses so the worker can recover from their injury without worrying about making ends meet.