Anyone who works construction knows how dangerous the job can be. Even when all the safety protocols are followed, everyone on the job is well-rested and alert, and the team is loaded with experienced professionals, construction work always presents significant danger to everyone on the job.
This problem is exacerbated when contractors do not take the basic steps necessary to ensure a safe worksite. When this happens, every sub-contractor and everyone else on the job should beware that their safety is at risk.
Illinois contractor fined for safety hazards
In a recent case, cited by the Insurance Journal online, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found numerous safety violations at an Elk Grove village townhome development construction site. In addition to lack of fall protection, the workers lacked eye-protection and hard hats. The work environment had improper ladders and lacked stair rails as well.
Ultimately, OSHA proposed $229,792 of penalties to the general contractor in charge of the site. And apparently, this is not the first time. This company has five other outstanding violations of this kind already on record.
What should construction workers do?
If you are a construction worker or sub-contractor of any kind, the most important thing you can do is protect yourself. Unfortunately, you can never know whether the site will be safe until you get to a job. But if you get onto a job and discover safety hazards or any lack of safety compliance, get off the site immediately. Get where it is safe and discuss the problem with the GC or the foreman on the job. If you are not satisfied that the environment will be safe for you to work, leave. Too many people have been seriously injured or even killed on the job due to lack of worksite safety.
If you have been hurt on the job, you should discuss filing for workers’ compensation benefits with an experienced lawyer. If the injuries are severe and could prevent you from working long term, you should consider filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).