No work realm in Pennsylvania or across the United States features a risk-free environment. Every occupational sphere poses some challenges for workers that link with the ready potential for on-the-job injuries.
Of course, some employment realms are unquestionably – and empirically proven to be – riskier than others.
Like the construction industry, for example, which is a work sector often spotlighted by state and national safety regulators, medical professionals and a slew of varied industry commentators. One proven Pennsylvania legal source on workplace safety perils and workers’ compensation duly notes that, “Accidents are common at construction sites, and the injuries are usually serious.”
Why are construction injuries so prevalent?
A direct indicator tied to outsized injury concerns in the construction industry is the sheer size and breadth of the sphere. Work crews across Pennsylvania and nationally are constantly involved in tasks across virtually every type of activity.
Construction is ever ongoing on road projects linked to road renovation, public works, shopping centers and malls, hospitals, schools, commercial and residential properties and more. Employees toil at heights and underground, labor under all types of weather conditions, work with large and complex equipment/machinery and, often, in proximity to hazardous materials.
Both singly and collectively, those factors pose risks and often contribute to adverse on-the-job injury outcomes.
OSHA spotlights construction risks with annual list of concerns
Myriad state and national workplace safety overseers focus intently on the construction sphere. No entity is more prominent or powerful in its role than the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Officials from OSHA craft industry regulations and levy penalties on employers that are lax in their safety protocols and practices.
And they do this as well: issue annually a high-profile Top-10 list of most frequently violated workplace protections and safety standards. Inclusions underscore preeminent risk/injury concerns and also spotlight areas where employers need to improve.
Here are a few key – and recurrent – entries cited on the agency’s list relevant to 2019:
- Fall incidents (lack of safeguards that keep employees working at heights from harm is a perennial regulatory concern)
- Incidents involving powered vehicles (construction workers often toil in the vicinity of large trucks, forklifts and other motorized vehicles)
- Lack of face and eye protection
- Inadequate protections relevant to chemicals and toxic agents
- Insufficient respiratory equipment
- Lack of operator safeguards in place relevant to heavy machinery
Injured construction employees have strong rights they can invoke to secure accountability and a meaningful remedy. A proven workers’ compensation and personal injury legal team can help them pursue maximum compensation.