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OSHA Regulations and Common Dangers on the Arizona Job Site

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on November 2, 2016

Working construction is often a thankless job and one that can be very frustrating; adding OSHA regulations common dangers on the job site to your daily stressors can make it even more difficult to make it through the day. While OSHA regulations are in place to help protect you, you may sometimes feel that they hinder your work and if your foreman or coworkers feel the same way and decide not to follow those regulations, you could be put into harm’s way. And this is more serious than many people think.

One small “tweak” to OSHA regulations meant to keep you safe, whether to save money, to save time, or make an aspect of the job easier to complete, could put your safety, and even your life, in jeopardy. But it happens, and it happens more often than you might think. You may be working on a site that is putting OSHA regulations to the side multiple times per day and not even know that it is happening or that you are at risk. And if you are injured, you’re going to need help with your recovery. Reaching out to a skilled personal injury attorney can help you to make a full recovery and to get the help you need for that recovery.

The Husband and Wife Law Team have been helping injured construction workers and their families to stand up for their rights for more than 20 years, and we will stand by you through every step of your recovery.

Common Dangers on the Job Site in Arizona

If you’re working on an Arizona job site injuries and the risk of being involved in a serious accident are not unknown to you and your colleagues. And there are many different ways in which you could be put in harm’s way. But there are some types of accidents and hazards that are more common than others, are frequently overlooked, and may be most likely to put you in a situation that leads to serious injury. Here are some of the most common hazards that you may encounter while on the job site.

  • Working from extreme heights. Construction workers often find themselves working from extreme heights, especially if the job involves work on a high rise or another type of building. Demolition jobs also require many construction workers to work from extreme heights. Some of the most serious hazards when working from heights don’t come from the heights themselves, but instead are caused by the restrictions of working at heights, like access restrictions, especially for safety and assistance, and mobility, which may make it difficult to maneuver around safely.
  • Slip and fall accidents. Construction accidents are a hot bed for slips, trips, and falls. Construction debris, wet surfaces, cords and cables, equipment, and more, can always create a hazard for workers, especially when they are left lying around for extended periods of time. But construction sites are also a common place for dug holes to cave in, for workers to walk or fall from scaffolding, or to walk off the edge of a platform without realizing the distance to the ground.
  • Collapse accidents. While collapse accidents aren’t common for every construction, it is important to be aware that they can happen, and when they do, death and serious injury are common. Collapse may involve the caving in of holes that have been excavated for foundations or other purposes, causing equipment or people or both to fall in, or may involve the collapse of scaffolding, buildings, or other structures on the site. It’s important to know the signs and take all necessary precautions to avoid these types of hazards due to their deadly nature.
  • Moving equipment, supplies, and objects. If you’re a construction worker, you’re working every day in a veritable “zoo” of moving supplies, equipment, and objects. These can be small, but most often you may be moving pipes, beams, heavy machinery, and other large objects. Heavy machinery may run over a person or tip over without proper safety measures in place, while a machinery malfunction or negligence could lead to dropping beams and piping, which could result in a crushing injury or death. Some supplies, too, are a serious hazard, and in the right conditions could cause explosions, burn injuries, chemical burns, and more. Improperly trained individuals who are asked to move machinery, materials, and objects on the job site can put themselves and everyone around them at risk. Moving a large piece of machinery is not as simple as it seems and moving hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals requires specific skill sets and finesse. Without the right training, serious injuries or death could become a reality on the job site.
  • Noise injuries. Most construction workers, and outside parties, don’t think about the noise dangers posed to individuals who work on a construction site. The excessive decibels of noise and vibration on a construction site can cause hearing damage and deafness if not properly handled. And ear plugs don’t always get the job done on their own. It’s important to know the situation you’re walking into and how loud the construction site really is so that you can take responsibility for your own hearing safety.
  • Improper handling of materials. Improper handling of materials is a common problem on job sites. More than just having untrained individuals moving materials which they are not qualified to handle, having these individuals put these materials to use is even more dangerous. It is also important that construction sites take care to deal with the dust that accumulates on the job site and ensure that all hazardous materials on the site have been properly handled so they do not become an airborne risk in the dust. Properly protecting workers from the dust is also a primary measure that must be taken in league with other safety measures. One of the most common hazards on job sites, especially sites requiring demolition or renovation, is asbestos, and without proper handling of materials that could contain asbestos, workers may be at significant risk. Asbestos in particular is often seen as a historical problem in Arizona construction sites, but it is out there and cause cancer and other serious injuries, and even death for those who inhale its dust.

Commonly Overlooked OSHA Regulations That Can Cause Job Site Injuries

OSHA regulations are put into place to help protect construction workers and other workers while on the job, and the most commonly reported injuries on job sites are often caused by a failure to comply with these regulations. Some of the most commonly violated OSHA regulations include:

  • Personal protective equipment, which is especially important when eye, hand, and respiratory protective equipment may be needed. The most common violations that lead to injuries are not having appropriate or updated equipment, not having enough equipment available, or not having the right equipment for the job. Having ear plugs and face masks isn’t enough; it’s important to have the right equipment for the types of dangers that are faced by workers.
  • Lack of training, which is required for individuals who will perform specific functions, like operating heavy machinery or conducting electrical repairs or wiring work.
  • Fall protection, which is meant to keep workers from falling into holes, falling off of scaffolding, or otherwise coming into contact with hazards that could present a trip, slip, and fall hazard.

While these are some of the top regulations that are found violated when injuries occur, this is certainly not an inclusive list. Understanding the full list of OSHA regulations for your own construction site can help you to better understand violations that should be corrected at work to keep you safe.

How Do You Determine Whether a Construction Site Is Safe for Work?

As a construction worker, you have a responsibility to yourself to make sure that your work environment is safe to work in. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it really is up to you to protect yourself, no matter what you have to do in order to make your work environment a safe place. Generally, you expect your employer and the construction site foreman to take care of you, to pay attention to the job site, to ensure that all OSHA regulations are being followed, and to make sure that everyone is practicing general safety. But construction sites are big places, and foremen have a lot to do. Unfortunately, there may also be instances where the foremen aren’t properly trained or where workers consistently take matters into their own hands. Keeping an eye out for your own safety is critical because even those responsible for keeping you and the work site safe may not always be up to the task. But remember, just because you should do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe does not mean that your workplace is any less liable for negligence.

The Legal Team That Has Your Back

When the people charged with protecting you don’t stand up to the task, you can rely on the Arizona job site injury attorneys at the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. to stand by you and help you to get the compensation needed for your recovery. Our attorneys work hard to determine liability in your construction job site accident and to help you get the compensation you need to cover your injuries and medical expenses, pain and suffering, wage loss, and more. Reach out for a free consultation with attorneys Alexis and Mark Breyer.

Posted in: Workplace Injury

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