If you work in construction here in Missouri, you already know that you do dangerous work, even if your workplace is safe. You accept the risks because it's part of the job. You may often work at heights, use dangerous equipment and rely on your co-workers to help keep you from harm.
If your employer fails to take measures to ensure that the construction site you work at provides you with the best possible defenses against those and other hazards, it only makes matters worse. You may know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require your employer to follow certain safety regulations, but you may not know what those regulations entail.
What obligations does your employer have to you?
OSHA requires that your employer does the following anytime you work at a construction site:
- Use safe tools and equipment
- Clear known hazards from the work site
- Conduct safety training in an understandable language
- Disseminate information regarding health and safety standards
- Create a hazard communication program
- Make employees' medical and exposure information available
Equipment often includes personal protective equipment including fall avoidance devices, clothing and footwear, among other things. It's not only the equipment used to actually perform your job, but also equipment designed to keep you safe. OSHA may conduct periodic inspections to determine whether your employer meets these and other safety and health-related standards.
What happens if you suffer an injury while working?
Considering the fact that many injuries suffered at construction accidents are serious, the first priority is to get medical attention right away. You or someone else at the site may want to keep records of witnesses to the accident, the condition of any equipment involved and your injuries. If possible, take photographs of everything, including your injuries. You need to report the accident and your injuries to your employer as soon as possible.
Payment of expenses such as your medical and medical-related costs and a portion of your income may be available through Missouri's workers' compensation insurance program. Working toward obtaining these benefits can cause you a significant amount of stress and frustration, especially while you recover from your injuries. It may be of great benefit to you to take advantage of the legal resources in your area to help you obtain the benefits you need.
In addition, a review of your case may reveal that a third party may also bear some liability for your injuries and a claim against that party or those parties may be appropriate.