A construction site can be a very dangerous place to work if you are not careful. You always need to protect your safety while working. Always:
Double-Check Your Work Areas
Scaffolds are important equipment at most construction sites and are associated with a high number of injuries. If you are going to be working on them, you must ensure your safety first. Check with your supervisor or find out yourself whether the scaffold has been inspected by a professional or a competent person. Never work on an incomplete scaffold which does not have a strong platform or base.
Ladders are other essential construction site tools with a high potential for danger. Check the ladder thoroughly before using it. If you find any part of the ladder wobbly, do not use it. A ladder should be of proper strength and of a height that always keeps it at least one meter above the landing. All of the steps or slabs of the ladder must be secured properly. The upper and lower end of the ladder should preferably be fastened or secured properly. If not, ensure there is someone manually keeping it secure in order to prevent a fall from height. New York Labor Law protects construction workers and places liability on owners and contractors under certain circumstances where workers are exposed to height related risks . Pursuant to Labor Law § 240(1), known as the Scaffold Law, contractors and owners must provide certain safety devices, including scaffolding, hoists, and ladders, to protect workers. Labor law Section 200 codifies the common law duty of the owner or general contractor to provide a safe place to work for construction workers. Claims can arise either from an alleged defect or a dangerous condition on the premises or from the means and methods by which the work was performed. An owner or general contractor is not liable for an injury arising from a contractor’s means and methods if the owner or general contractor does not have supervisory control over the operation. If, however, the injury is caused by a defect or dangerous condition on the premises, the owner or general contractor is liable if it created the condition or had actual or constructive notice of it.
Be Extra careful with Electricity and Equipment
Construction sites require a lot of electrical installations. Lifting equipment mostly involves electricity and weights. When working with such equipment, you need to be extra cautious to see there is no wear and tear in the machine and also to follow the safety precautions listed for the equipment. If you are using plugged-in portable devices, such as grinders and drills, you should always check that the cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded, and the power supply is provided with an earth leakage circuit breaker. Never allow the electrical tools to come in contact with water.
Never stand or work immediately below a heavy suspended load. And always check that you are not exceeding the permissible levels of load.
You’ll need proper training before operating some equipment, including a material hoist and a crane. Ensure the hoist is operated only after the gates are locked properly. Know the working load limits of a hoist and never exceed those limits. Most importantly, when using material hoists, make sure the communication between you and the operator are clearly understood. Any error here can cause a major accident on the site.
Employers are supposed to provide their workers with proper protective gear and clothing. If you as a worker do not have them, demand them from your employer and wear them correctly. Well-fitted helmets and protective eyewear are a must. Ear plugs or muffs for working in noisy areas and protective gloves when dealing with toxic chemicals should be worn. Anti-slip footwear and protective apparel are necessary for those working in toxic or dusty environments. Make sure you wear them. Fall harnesses are very important for every construction worker. Ensure your harness is sturdy and secured to a strong anchorage point when you are working at heights.
At sites where there is a lot of movement of heavy vehicles, workers should wear highly visible clothing so that they can be located and seen easily. Because construction workers have to be working outdoors regardless of weather conditions, they also should have some climate protective gear and clothing.
If you are injured at a worksite contact an experienced attorney. At Proner & Proner we are always available to discuss your case if you are injured doing construction work.