Construction workers are arguably some of the hardest workers in the country. These men and women work long hours in rough conditions to help build our nation. Whether doing asphalt work on highways or spending hours on scaffolding while building skyscrapers, these workers are often in very dangerous situations.
Ideally, employers are taking steps to help ensure that the conditions these workers are in are as safe as possible. In reality, additional regulations are needed to help keep employers from cutting costs by skimping on safety.
What is being done to ensure employers provide safe work environments?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency tasked with keeping workers in the United States safe. This agency works to achieve these goals in a number of ways, most notably by putting forward regulations. Employers are generally required to follow these regulations, and violators face penalties.
Regulations are present for almost every profession available. Administrative assistants, health care providers, teachers, truckers and construction workers are all protected by these rules. Unfortunately, there are instances when an employer who is required to abide by these regulations fails to do so. Such failures can result in more than just the penalties mentioned above; they can also result in serious injury or even death.
A recent report by Construction Dive dove into these violations, finding that employers in the construction industry are among the most prolific offenders. The report focused specifically on the agency's Severe Violators Enforcement Program. As the name implies, employers placed within this program are considered the most serious offenders in the nation.
What did the report find?
The piece touches on an analysis of this data. The analysis involved researchers combing through the approximate 520 companies that were on the Severe Violators Enforcement Program list from 2010 to April of 2016. The researchers reported on their findings, including which industry had the most offenses.
The results: 60 percent of these companies were in the construction industry.
What kinds of accidents are covered?
OSHA violations in the construction industry can involve a failure to follow regulations while working at unsafe heights, while on busy highways or working within trenches. Examples of accidents that contributed to inclusion in the Severe Violators Enforcement Program include the use of unsafe scaffolds at high heights and the collapse of a trench resulting in the death of a worker.
What can I do if I am injured in an accident?
Workers who are injured on-the-job are generally eligible for compensation through workers' compensation. However, it is important for workers to know that there may be another option.
In some cases, a third-party claim may also exist.
This can result in compensation to help cover the costs associated with the accident. Contact an experienced construction accident lawyer to discuss your options.