Construction is an innately difficult and dangerous career to pursue, which is one reason why it pays so well compared to other jobs. You will have to either use your physical strength or dangerous tools to help build or repair structures, some of which may be many stories tall. Even the contractors working on residential properties can find themselves in danger of falling while on the job.
In fact, falls account for roughly 40% of construction accidents, based on an analysis by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of 2017 construction fatalities.
However, unlike many other workplace accidents which may be the result of sudden machinery issues or unexpected incidents during the course of work, construction site falls are almost always preventable if employers take adequate steps to safeguard their workers.
Construction companies should focus on real safety, not just legal compliance
Safety regulations often represent the bare minimum of common sense necessary to protect workers from injury. The only reason OSHA even exists is that too many businesses will put their own profit ahead of the safety of their workers.
Companies will intentionally avoid investing in safety equipment or new tools. They may cut costs by choosing not to offer safety training to their workers. Many companies will only do the absolute least for safety as required under federal and state regulations.
If your employer really wants to run a successful business, they should focus more on worker safety and less on their profit margin. Safe workers are productive workers, and although safety training and equipment can be an expensive investment, it almost always repays the company by helping them retain the best possible staff and reducing the risk of expensive insurance claims by workers.
Companies should provide safety harnesses for all workers
Whether you are putting the roof on a multi-story apartment building, repairing the elevator shaft in a commercial office complex or working in the frame construction of a skyscraper, the potential exists for a severe fall. Even a fall off of the second story of a building could result in severe injuries that end your career.
The best employers will always put worker safety before everything else. Providing safety harnesses, training and other necessary equipment to keep contractors safe from falls is one of the best investments a company can make.
Workers who get hurt in construction in the state of New Jersey can file for workers' compensation benefits. In some circumstances, their employer may also bear some liability for their injury, particularly if they violated safety standards on the job site. Discussing your situation with an experienced New Jersey attorney can help you determine what forms of compensation are available and how best to connect with them.