New York construction workers probably already know that their employers can help make job sites safer. However, they may not be aware of just how effective preventative safety measures can be.
Analysts at Associated Builders and Construction, a trade association, say that building contractors can make their workplaces up to 670 percent safer by following the guidelines in their Safety Performance Evaluation Process. Doing so can result in an 85 percent reduction in reportable workplace accidents. Safety measures can include new-hire orientation programs, substance abuse programs and creating a site-safety committee that involves the workers.
Another study, this one by the Center for Construction Research and Training, found that construction fatalities are on the rise. Being hit by falling materials was responsible for 67 percent of the fatalities. Workers under 20 years old, older workers and iron workers were most likely to be killed by falling materials.
The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration sets the standards for workplace safety in the construction industry. In recent years, however, it has experienced problems with companies reporting injuries in this field. The agency has developed a rule that requires most workplaces to report their injuries and illnesses electronically.
No matter how strict the safety measures, accidents will still happen. New Yorkers injured in workplace accidents may be eligible for benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. Benefits can include wage replacement, medical expenses and retraining if the worker is unable to return to their pre-injury position. An attorney may be able to assist a worker injured on the job if compensation benefits are denied.