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Construction workers say productivity trumps safety

construction workers

In America’s deadliest industry, construction workers say safety takes a back seat

A recent National Safety Council survey found that more than half of construction workers (58%) perceive that safety takes a back seat to productivity on their job sites.

To gauge employee perceptions about workplace safety, the NSC interviewed 2,000 American workers across 14 industries.

Of construction workers surveyed, 51% say management does the bare minimum when it comes to safety; 47% say they’d feel afraid to report a safety issue. These numbers are alarming, especially considering the fact that construction has more workplace fatalities than any other industry in the U.S.

No worker should feel stuck between losing their job, or losing their life. Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health said,“When workers can’t speak up, then there is a greater risk that a hazard will not be identified and addressed and workers will suffer the consequences.”

In 2015, workplace deaths hit a 10-year high – 4,836 lives lost.

Preventing fatal work accidents

Spring marks the start of construction season. Next week, May 8-12, OSHA and the National Safety Council observe “National Safety Stand-Down.”  The program serves to raise awareness about and help prevent falls in construction – a leading cause of death in the industry.  Of the 937 construction workers killed on the job in 2015, 350 died from a fall-related injury.

Across all industries, falls account for a significant number of workplace deaths, second only to motor vehicle accidents. According to OSHA, fall protection requirements account for the most frequently cited violations.

To observe a Fall Safety Stand-Down at your company, consider the following ways you can participate:

  • Conduct a safety inspection
  • Hold a safety training session
  • Review emergency procedures
  • Review with your employees how to report a workplace accident

Taking the time to prioritize safety can help prevent workplace injuries and reduce workers’ compensation claims stemming from preventable accidents.

What to do if you’re injured at work

If you suffer a serious injury while at work, you have rights. If you injury requires medical treatment, missed time from work, or alterations to your job duties, your employer must comply with this under Pennsylvania law. Take the following steps to protect yourself after a work injury:

  1. Report the accident or injury as soon as possible. Even if it seems minor, further complications could arise later on.
  2. Seek medical treatment for your injury. Your employer must produce a list of at least six doctors that their workers’ compensation insurance will cover.
  3. Treat with the workers’ comp doctor for the first 90 days; after 90 days, you may treat with any doctor of your choice, and workers’ comp will still have to cover it.
  4. Keep a record of all doctor visits and treatment you receive.
  5. Keep any and all correspondence from the workers’ compensation insurance company
  6. If your claim is denied, or your benefits stop prematurely, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

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