Construction workers face a number of dangers on the job every day. Safety violations may contribute to serious accidents.
Anyone who works in construction or has a loved one working in the industry knows that this is one of the country’s most dangerous jobs. Every day, construction workers in California and elsewhere risk their lives to make buildings and roadways safer and more convenient for everyone.
Serious accidents on the jobsite often occur simply because of the dangerous nature of the job. However, the risk of accidents increases when construction companies cut corners, workers are denied safety training and equipment or federal standards are ignored.
Violations contribute to many accidents
In fact, safety violations are among the most common causes of construction workers being injured on the job, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Common safety violations include the following:
- Improper safety measures involving trenches – OSHA mandates that excavations should be shored or braced to prevent cave-ins that may crush or suffocate workers, as well as measures put in place for excavations where oxygen may be in low supply.
- Lack of safety procedures with electricity – Workers should ensure they are properly grounded when working around electricity or that wires and cables are de-energized. Power tools should also be kept in good repair. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
- Scaffolding violations – Scaffolds should be securely constructed and walking surfaces fully planked to reduce the risk of falling. However, many construction sites lack safe scaffolding standards, greatly increasing the risk of workers falling from heights .
The accidents that are common on construction sites have prompted OSHA to set forth industry standards, such as those above. Despite these safety standards, the construction industry accounted for one-fifth of workplace fatalities in 2014. The top construction accidents are known as the “fatal four,” and kill about 435 construction workers in the country every year. These include falls, electrocutions, being caught between objects or being struck by objects.
It was unknown whether a violation contributed to an accident that recently occurred on a San Diego jobsite. The tragedy illustrates the sudden and serious nature of fatal four accidents. According to NBC San Diego, a column fell onto a worker while concrete was being poured into a panel form and fatally crushed the man. OSHA began investigating the circumstances that may have contributed to the incident.
If safety standards were ignored or workers did not receive training or safety equipment, construction companies may be held liable for an accident that caused injury. An experienced San Diego personal injury attorney may be able to advise those injured on the job about whether they may be eligible for compensation.