Construction Worker: Safety Rights
Share This Post
When it comes to a ranking of the most dangerous jobs and occupations where injuries tend to occur with greater frequency, construction-related jobs often rank at or near the top. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states construction workers are more likely to be injured on the job than other workers. This is why it’s important for anyone doing jobs of this nature to be aware of construction worker safety rights.
OSHA Rights That Apply to All Employees
All employers are required to adhere to OSHA standards for workplace safety. This is especially important for construction workers since construction-related injuries can involve serious head injuries, fractures, burns, spinal cord injuries, electrocution, amputation, repetitive motion injuries, and illnesses related to toxic chemical exposure. All workers, including those in the construction industry, have rights that include:
- Receiving appropriate training in an understandable language
- Working on machines that are considered safe by industry standards
- Having access to necessary safety gear
- Being protected from exposure to dangerous substances
The Right to Know a Work Environment Is Free of Safety Hazards
Realistically, no construction site is entirely free of risks. This being said, construction workers do have the right to know that OSHA standards are being followed. They also have the right to know efforts are being made to mitigate injury risks and minimize worksite hazards as much as possible.
The Right to Access Relevant Safety Information
Construction workers have a right to know what safety standards apply to their worksite. This right extends to information related to worksite safety and other safety-related data. For construction workers, this means a right to access:
- Copies of applicable regulations, requirements, and standards
- Medical and/or exposure records related to accidents or injuries
- Copies of any tests that may have been done to look for worksite/workplace hazards
- Records related to reported illnesses or injuries
The Right to Report Violations
Construction workers have the right to report OSHA violations. Also, construction workers have the right to have their name withheld when doing so. Whether or not a construction worker withholds their name when reporting a violation, they also have the right not to face retaliatory actions.
Failure to adhere to the safety rights that apply to construction workers can result in serious or potentially fatal injuries. Even non-fatal injuries that occur on the job can have a long-term impact. For employers, overlooking safety precautions could result in fines, penalties, and, under certain circumstances, potential legal liability.