If you’ve been working a while in construction, you might have become used to the high risk level tasks that come with the job.
However, “being accustomed to”, along with “negligence”, can be fatal in some cases and you should always be aware of your surroundings and safety on site. Of course, there are other causes responsible for construction accidents, but here’s a reminder of what you should do before, when and after an accident happens.
Prevention: Better Be Safe Than Sorry
In an ideal jobsite, this would be the first and last step in accidents guidelines. To prevent accidents from happening, it is important to provide training to workers and reiterate the importance and need for safety gear.
Tip: A 24-hour action plan should be established so all employees and employers can follow safety guidelines when an accident does happen. You can ask your manager or supervisor if they have one.
Steps to Stick to Following A Jobsite Accident
1- Check yourself and others
The very first thing to do is to assess the situation. You can do that by checking yourself for any injuries and then check others and the overall jobsite safety. Your condition comes first: if you’re injured and you’re not treating it, it will only worsen. Even a minor lesion can become infected, or a “little bump” to the head could actually be a concussion.
2- Call for Help (appropriate authorities)
Report to the appropriate people. In any type of injury, your manager or supervisor should be informed right away. If the injury is life-threatening, even a tiny bit threatening, call the ambulance or health personnel if available on site. Seconds really do make a difference in most cases of life-threatening injuries. If you are certified to administer first aid, you are encouraged to do so. If not, wait for the authorities to be there and avoid putting yourself and others at higher risk.
3- Secure Jobsite
Clear employees from the site to a safer place. This puts employees in a lot less risk and allows emergency personnel to get to the injured employee quickly, with space for large and heavy equipment required. Another important thing to do is to gather evidence from the accident but ensure nothing is touched or tampered with, to provide to the investigation.
Following the Accident: Check for Claims on Insurance & Compensation
Even though the injury clearly happened on the jobsite, your manager may try to minimize your claim or even refuse your employee benefits. That’s why it’s important to have a backup, in the form of legal representation, to defend your interests. This way, you’re securing your insurance rights or workers’s benefits. Be sure to fill all the necessary forms required in the country where you are.
Tip: It’s even more necessary to hire a legal firm when the accident led to serious injuries, to help you build a strong claim.
Most Common Life-Threatening Construction Accidents
Tip: Good lighting to optimize your view & clear floor surfaces in order to make sure nothing obstructs the way.
2 – Falls
Tip: Use the safety harness when working in scaffolds and ensure with the supervisor that there are proper fall protection covers.
3- Impact from flying/falling objects
Tip: Wear the most basic safety gear given to you: your helmet. It will reduce the risk of fatal head injuries.
Did you know that…
- During a 45-year career, there is a 1 in 200 chance that a construction worker will die from a work-related incident. [Safety & Health Magazine]
- One in every 10 construction workers is injured. [OSHA]
We can all agree that most of these are easily avoidable. Being careless or “cool” on the job site without safety gear isn’t worth the obvious consequences. Be safe out there!