UNITED STATES—Working on a construction site can be quite hazardous as there is a lot of heavy machinery as well as dangerous elements such as electricity, sharp objects, and more.
For these reasons, in order to ensure employee safety, it is imperative that proper training be given to employees before they begin working on the job. Here are just some examples of how not having the proper training can result in serious injury and even death of construction workers.
Improper Use of Equipment
The reason why employees must be skilled and qualified to work certain equipment is due to the level of danger that is involved with operating them. It is not merely enough that the employee knows how to use the machine, but they must also be trained on what type of gear, tools, clothing, et cetera is required when operating certain machinery.
For instance, because of the dangers of flying sparks when one is welding, a welder must wear special protective clothing as well as a helmet in order to protect himself from being seriously injured [source]. Not having the proper gear and tools when dealing with something like electricity can result in an employee being killed.
Failing To Erect Scaffolds Properly
Because scaffolds are used to help construction workers reach extremely tall heights, they must be secure in order to maintain the employee’s safety while working. However, if a scaffold happens to collapse, this could result in a tragic death for the person on the scaffold as well as those below.
In order to help prevent such an incident from occurring, employers should train their employees to do the following:
- Only erect and dismantle a scaffold on stable ground
- A proper scaffold must be capable of carrying four times its weight
- When erecting a scaffold, it must have midrails, guardrails, and toeboards
- Scaffolds must be inspected periodically by an experienced person
- Any damaged parts of a scaffold must not be used, but replaced or repaired immediately
Dealing With Trenches
The collapse of trenches have been one of the causes of injury and death for construction workers each year. This is partly because some workers aren’t trained properly on how to approach trenches safely.
Employees must know when to not enter a trench, while employers must implement safety measures, such as sloping, in order to help prevent collapsing. Trenches should always have an exit like a ramp, ladder or stairway, and employees should know how and be able to get to it when needed.
Employers Are Responsible for Employees
No matter how badly an employer wants to meet a deadline or save money when it comes to training, the fact of the matter is that no amount of money is worth an employee’s life. As an employer, you are legally obligated to make sure that your workers are properly trained and protected while they are working for you. This includes but is not limited to knowing how to use the equipment, providing them with safety gear, and more. Not only should new hires receive training, but it is imperative that current employees be kept up to date on safety measures as well.
There are lots of hazardous jobs out there; however, being properly trained is one of the ways to help prevent accidents from occurring. When dealing with dangerous environments, such as construction, on the job training can be like closing the barn door after the cattle get out.
All it takes is one slip up, and someone can lose their life just because they weren’t taught how to protect it. If you or your loved one has been injured during construction work, your employer could be negligent if they failed to provide sufficient training and warning about hazardous conditions.