Chopra & Nocerino, LLP

More action may be needed for construction safety

FireStarter Speaking and Consulting has released its "2019 People in Construction Report," which shows that many construction professionals are doing little to improve safety in the industry. Of those executives who were surveyed for the report, 85% said they believe safety is a top priority. On the other hand, 93% of field supervisors and 97% of those in office positions said the same. New York residents may see these survey results as a sign that there is more talk than action.

In fact, only 68% of field supervisors could claim that they work in a consistently safe manner. For a job site supervisor, to work in a safe manner means to promote safe practices and address safety hazards. In other words, the results show that nearly one in three of these supervisors are failing to do this.

Safety advocates say that training, education, a formal safety policy and a greater sense of accountability among field supervisors and office personnel are what's necessary to improve the situation. Employers could first have their employees take a 30-hour OSHA training course on construction safety and then supplement it with site-specific practices.

Everyone should sign off on the company safety policy, including the supervisors. Going against the policy may be ground for dismissal. Supervisors need encouragement from the executives, who should show their support for safety measures by funding them.

There are cases when an employer is to blame for a worker's injuries. In such a construction accident situation, the victim may be able to sue the employer for economic and non-economic damages. This is where an attorney can come in. Filing an injury claim could be more difficult than filing for workers' comp benefits, but an attorney may hire third parties to assist with the process.

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