Kentucky Law Blog

Mark’s Notes on Legal Topics of Interest

How to prevent construction site accidents

Accidents on a construction site can be catastrophic. Between heavy machinery, scaffolding and other equipment, there is a significant potential for disaster. But the right approach to construction site safety can save workers from the devastating losses of a serious injury, and it may also save employers or other potentially liable parties from a lawsuit.

Proper protection from falls
One way to maintain a safe working environment at a construction site, according to OSHA, is to ensure protection from falls. Of the fatalities that result from construction accidents, those from falls are among the highest numbers. OSHA recommends using elevated platforms, implementing guardrail systems and even safety net systems or body harnesses.

Scaffolding, ladders and stairways
OSHA also estimates that nearly half of the construction accidents involving ladders and stairways resulted in the injured individuals missing time from work. Scaffolding also can present significant hazards. To prevent accidents in scaffolding, ladders and stairways, consider:
• Having a professional inspect them before use
• Cleaning grease and other debris from the surfaces
• Erecting properly build guardrails
• Having treads that cover each step and landing

Other factors include weight and occupancy. Are workers aware of the scaffolding weight limit? Is it built on a solid foundation?

Heavy machinery
Machinery like cranes and forklifts should be operated by properly trained personnel and workers should inspect them before use. Furthermore, it is not safe to operate them within 10 feet or less of a powerline nor should operators carry loads over the heads of other workers.

While it is likely that most workers understand the potential for hazards in the construction profession, maintaining a safe environment with updated handbooks and regular attention to Kentucky state and federal regulations can prevent serious injuries and even death.

— On behalf of Mark Knight Attorney at Law