Does your work take you down in the trenches? Did you know that trench collapses are among the top hazards for serious construction accidents?
According to this 2017 OSHA news release, trench cave-ins and excavation operations caused more than 20 deaths and 12 injuries in 2016. A St. Louis area plumbing company was recently cited in more than one incident of unprotected trench construction at construction sites.
Sadly the second incident came on the heels of their 33 year-old employee’s death due to a trench cave-in construction accident. What a tragic waste of a life!
In the citations, OSHA noted that the employees of the plumbing company were not properly trained in the hazards of trench excavation. A 12 foot trench was not properly protected with a support system. Even more basic, no ladder was supplied for the employees to quickly exit the trench in case of emergency.
It’s hard to understand this lack of safety equipment and basic safety knowledge.
Small businesses work so hard to build their clientele. Hiring good employees is another huge challenge. Why would you not protect them on the job?
We’re all going to have bad days! However, safety systems, training, and equipment help us all have fewer bad days. Construction accidents equal a very bad day.
With spring just around the corner, the construction industry is going to be picking up speed and adding projects. As a worker, what can you do to protect yourself from a construction accident?
- If you’re a construction worker, you can research your own job. Take a little initiative. What’s the proper safety equipment you need? Ask your employer. If they downplay this question, it’s a sign. No fortune cookie needed. Keep your eyes open for a new job!
- Does a procedure look unsafe? Question it! It’s okay to stand up for yourself and the safety of those around you.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. This may mean cranking down the music, and responding to calls or texts only on a break.
- Don’t let fellow workers distract you! Any parent knows that the worst accidents happen in a moment of brief distraction. Same rule applies on the job.
- Be careful with prescription medications on the job. You need to make sure you are okay to operate heavy equipment on your current medication.
- Arrive at work sober. This may seem like a given, but bringing “Jim Bean”, “Jack Daniels” or any of his cousins to work increases your risk of construction accidents.
- Make sure your safety equipment is working properly. ( Like checking your own latch on an amusement park ride.) If you see other workers tossing aside the safety equipment, be the safety advocate. Someone’s mother will thank you!
Maybe you’ve already been injured in a construction accident. The stress is real! Pain, time off work, mounting bills — just to name a few issues.
Need help getting your workers’ compensation pay? You must prove that your injuries are due to an accident on the job, no matter who was at fault. Expert workers’ compensation lawyers from The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC are available to fight your legal battles for you. Attorney Steimel is licensed to represent cases in both Missouri and Illinois.
Call 636-244-3737 today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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