Health and Safety in Construction – the rules and your rights

construction safety

The construction industry is often referred to as the bread and butter of the United States, and the world. Without industry would quite simply grand to a halt. Construction workers have oiled the wheels of industry for centuries and today is no different

 

With so much money circling the construction industry however, it’s often the grass roots employee who bears the brunt of any changes, whether it’s financial, physical or safety orientated. But it needn’t be that way, and in many cases, legally it can’t be that way. Finally the industry is changing.

 

Much of the problem of the blue-collar workforce is that they simply aren’t aware of the strength of their rights as employees. When this lack of knowledge meets safety requirements, that’s when genuine issues can arise. It’s absolutely imperative that all workers know exactly where they stand, so read up and be better prepared for what ever comes your way.

 

First up, let’s look at employers obligations:

 

1)     They’re legally obliged to provide a workplace entirely free of recognized, standard dangers or hazards.

2)     Inform employees of the health and safety expectations and standards that are applicable to their workplace

3)     They must make all employees aware of the existence of appropriate medical care, and the exact location when the employees first start their tenure ship. This must then be carried out annually for the duration of the employee’s employment.

4)     A danger communication program must be established and delivered to all employees, detailing labeling, material safety, training and the like

5)     Publish and display a prominent ‘poster’ outlining all rights of employees in an area where all employees have regular access.

 

 

If there is any injury within the workplace however, again there are certain protocols to follow, where the employer has certain legal responsibilities. Should they fail to do so, they are then liable for a whole host of expenses. Make sure you’re aware of their responsibilities to you, equally it’s not your position to tell them this; it’s the employers’ responsibility to be forthcoming with the information. Moving on, they must:

 

1)     Provide the injured party with appropriate first aid, along with the name of their insurer and the company’s details.

2)     They must fill in the register of injuries in depth

3)     Provide the insurer with all applicable documents and information.

 

But what should you, as an employee, do if there’s an injury at work?

 

1)     As always, check the immediate state of the injury of the injured party

2)     If emergency services are necessary, call the instantly.

3)     You must inform your employer, who then must inform their line managers and insurers (it’s not the injured person’s responsibility)

4)     Tell your health care provider. In case the employer is not liable, you must inform your provider in case they have to foot your bill.

5)     Avoid giving a recorded statement unless your attorney is present.

6)     In the aftermath, keep all doctors’ appointments. This is vital should you wish to pursue a claim at a later date

7)     Be careful with your words. Situations regarding workplace injuries can become tricky, and a lot is at stake. So keep the situation between you and your attorney, no one else needs to know any details whatsoever.

 

If and when employers fail to carry out their responsibilities, the workers are in danger and liable for compensation, that’s when accident lawyers can come in. For too long workers have been forced to the back of the line, and when injuries occurred, they’d be laid off, left without a basic salary and struggling with mortgage payments, life costs etc. And it’s simply unacceptable. Lots of employers have famously exploited the fact that they’re staff, however capable in their roles, are simply not aware of their rights. They know that and yet do nothing about it. Now is the time for that to change.

 

However if all workers are well informed, they’ll see that this doesn’t have to be the case and in fact, should an injury occur at work it’s distinctly possible that the employer is liable. Know your rights and you’ll be treated much better. There is no need to suffer in silence, and your financial status should never be negatively affected. This list of responsibilities both on the employers and employees end should be kept in mind at all times. Never join a workplace without at least a basic understand of what has been stated above. We work to live, so we should never be in risk of any injury. Remember that and stay safe.

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