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A Guide to Construction Site Safety Regulations

July 27 2023 | Personal Injury

Construction is the most dangerous job in the country. In an effort to protect construction workers and prevent life-threatening workplace injuries, the federal government has enacted hundreds of construction site safety regulations. A violation of these rules by an employer or coworker could entitle the injured worker to financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Federal Safety Regulations for Construction Sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that was formed in 1971 to help ensure the safety of workers on the job. OSHA has hundreds of agents who are sent to job sites each year to ensure employer compliance with federal safety laws. Examples of these laws and regulations include:

  • Adequate barriers and warning signs for open trenches
  • Proper scaffold and scaffolding construction and upkeep
  • Fall safeguards, including harnesses, barriers and railings
  • Securement of tools and equipment when working from heights
  • Fire and emergency escape plans for workers
  • Proper clothing and gear, with long hair tied back and no jewelry worn
  • Hazard identification, communication of safety risks and worker safety training
  • Signage, respirators, proper ventilation and other requirements around harmful substances
  • Required PPE, or personal protection equipment, given to all workers
  • Clear instructions and safety training to maintain a safe work environment
  • Security measures to prevent acts of violence by people or animals

Employers in the construction industry have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for their employees and the general public. They must abide by all applicable federal and state safety rules and requirements.

Required Construction Worker Safety Equipment

Construction worker safety must be a top priority for employers, construction companies and supervisors. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure worker health and safety as much as possible. This includes enforcing federal safety laws, responding to worker complaints promptly and providing a reasonably safe work environment. Employers are also responsible for providing all required worker safety equipment, including: 

  • Fall protection, such as personal fall arrest systems
  • Electric shock protective gear
  • Helmets or hard hats
  • Closed-toed working shoes or boots
  • Braces or supports to prevent repetitive motion injuries 
  • Earplugs when working around loud equipment
  • Eye goggles or full face shields, when necessary
  • Protective work gloves
  • Reflective vest to prevent roadside construction worker deaths

Construction workers face a wide range of hazards in the course and scope of their employment. An employer failing to equip workers with necessary safety gear can contribute to serious construction worker injuries, including permanent disabilities that interfere with their capacity to return to work at a construction site. 

Why Do Deadly Construction Accidents Happen?

According to OSHA, the construction industry consistently has the highest annual numbers of worker deaths and fatal accidents. Deadly construction accidents are frequently caused by OSHA safety standard violations, such as: 

  • Lack of adequate fall protection efforts
  • Inadequate hazard communication
  • Dangerous or broken ladders
  • Poor scaffolding construction and maintenance
  • Failure to control hazardous energy
  • Improper operation of industrial trucks and equipment
  • Missing machine guarding

If an employer cuts corners, ignores safety regulations or turns a blind eye to safety violations – often in an attempt to save time or money – the company could be held responsible for a worker’s related injuries and losses. If you believe a violated safety standard contributed to your workplace injuries, contact a construction accident attorney in New Haven for a free case consultation. You may be entitled to financial compensation.

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