Construction sites are among the most dangerous places to work in America, accounting for more workplace injuries than any other type of business. Chicago construction sites are no exception and proper procedures must be taken by employers to ensure their employees are able to work safely without fear of personal injury or fatality while trying to do their jobs. Failure to follow guidelines issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, can not only result in fines for an employer, but can also create an unsafe workplace where injuries are more likely to occur.
There are numerous rules and guidelines provided to employers by OSHA to keep employees safe, many of which are targeted specifically at construction sites and similar locations. For example, proper harnesses and safety equipment must be provided for workers who are doing their jobs raised up more than a few feet off the ground. Falls account for the highest number of fatalities at a construction site, and the proper use of safety equipment can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury and death as a result of falling.
Employers must provide their construction workers with proper safety training pertaining to not only their jobs and duties, but also the equipment they use. While most people can safely use a handsaw or sledgehammer, proper training is vital when someone is tasked with using a large and powerful piece of machinery that can potentially disfigure or mutilate a person if not used safely. It is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that any employees permitted to use such equipment receive proper training in general, with updated training as new equipment arrives.
OSHA guidelines and safety policies must also be posted openly for all employees at a worksite, so they can see certain safety bulletins and worksheets at the workplace. Books and binders with safety regulations need to be displayed prominently by employers so that workers know how to find them. Whenever an employee brings a safety concern to employers, then it is their responsibility to listen and act upon the information appropriately and quickly. These are the kinds of steps often referred to as “reasonable” when a lawyer discusses liability in a personal injury case.
If you believe your employer is not properly keeping you safe and following OSHA guidelines, then report it immediately. If your employer will not listen, or does not seem to care, then contact a local OSHA office to report the issue. Fines by OSHA can be quite punitive, and violations of these guidelines can establish liability and negligence for a lawsuit if an injury does occur. Call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today at (312) 644-0444 if you or someone you know has been injured because an employer failed to properly keep them safe. Our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can talk about your case and help you understand your options.