This past week a construction worker was injured while working on a construction site in Newfoundland, Canada. According to reports, the worker had been using a piece of equipment during the course of construction at an apartment complex when his hand got caught within the machinery. The construction worker was reported not to have lost consciousness and was in stable condition before being transported to a local hospital. At this juncture, it is unclear whether any safety violations were committed by the worker’s construction company, but authorities state that the investigation is ongoing.
As a Miami construction site injury lawyer, I frequently observe construction companies operating heavy machinery and high risk equipment in an unsafe fashion. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is a government agency empowered to set down specific regulations for construction companies to abide by when operating construction sites. Additionally, these regulations are aimed at protecting and ensuring the safety of our construction workers.
OSHA inspectors are charged with overseeing hundreds of thousands of construction sites throughout this country, including the enforcement of OSHA safety standards and regulations. So, what happens if a construction company fails to follow these regulations? An OSHA violation is slapped on the hands of the offending construction company. Yet, a construction company can easily prevent this occurrence by participating and being active in OSHA’s training, outreach, and education programs.
OSHA offers a specific outreach training program for the construction industry as a whole. Construction workers are encouraged to attend these seminars on construction site safety, as well as other highly useful tools. Not to mention, OSHA also offers separate courses for entry level construction workers in addition to courses offered for supervisors with safety responsibilities on job sites.
Ultimately, OSHA’s goal is to raise the awareness of construction site safety. The first step to achieve this goal is to increase the knowledge of construction workers and place them on notice that their career choice is a dangerous one that could lead to significant life-threatening injuries, if not death.
Let me be clear that I am not asserting that the construction site injury mentioned above rises to the level of an OSHA violation had the construction accident occurred in the United States. Construction site accidents happen and construction workers assume this risk the first day they step foot on a construction site. But we can certainly avoid many construction accidents if OSHA safety regulations are strictly followed.
By: Brandon Stein