Florida construction jobs can be highly satisfying. Construction professionals help build roads, buildings, and other infrastructures that Florida residents use every day. It can be very satisfying for these workers to see blueprints and plans turn into real buildings and real structures that people can use and enjoy. However, while the construction industry is highly useful, it can also be dangerous for its workers. The nature of construction work is risky, and fatalities and injuries do occur every year.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) law necessitates that employees are provided with a workplace that is free from hazards and is generally safe. However, despite the law, OSHA reports that each year 1000 construction workers die in workplace accidents while another 250 000 construction workers suffer injuries. Construction accidents across the US cost the construction industry $13 billion in worker’s compensation alone. This figure does not reflect the medical bills, lost productivity, pain and suffering, and legal costs that these accidents incur. According to OSHA, up to 90% of construction accident fatalities occur as a result of falls, electrocution, or workers being struck by objects. OSHA classifies these accidents as highly preventable.
Florida construction workers can stay safer on the job by:
1) Learning about and taking part in training programs. Your union, safety society, and employer all generally provide safety training programs that help you learn about safety rules, regulations and laws, and equipment. These courses can help you understand all that you can do in order to prevent slip and fall accidents on work sites, and other common accidents. These courses are an excellent investment of your time.
2) Learning about your equipment. Equipment on construction sites changes every few years, so if it has been some time since you have learned about new equipment or have taken training courses, this might be a good time to retrain yourself. Some employers even provide scholarships or assistance with funding so that you can return to classes and become an even better employee.
3) Using the rights protective equipment at all times. Even for a short job or a quick project, the right personal protective garments can help you prevent brain injury as well as many other personal injuries.
4) Following the rules. Observe the regulations of the construction site as well as the safety rules you’ve been taught. If you’re fuzzy about the rules and regulations, ask or learn them before returning to work.
5) Securing heavy loads promptly. When dealing with heavy loads, make sure that they are correctly loaded, tagged, and secured immediately. This will help prevent accidents caused by an oversight. You don’t want to wait to secure a load only to forget.
6) Avoiding hastiness. Take the time to do each job correctly, and make sure that you take the time to erect proper barriers and guards as well as the proper warning signs for every job and project. Taking shortcuts can result in injury.
7) Being quick to report unsafe working conditions. Government inspectors cannot be around all the time, and not all employers are scrupulous. Report unsafe work conditions to your employer first, and if this does not improve conditions, make sure that your union and the OSHA learns of it. Refuse to work in conditions that are unsafe, and encourage other employees to do so to. Remember: there are laws that protect you from being fired for refusing to work in conditions that can cause accidents, fatalities, or injury.