Construction Worker Quits After Safety Concerns Aren’t Adequately Addressed

Posted by Steve Mansell on June 14, 2018

The construction industry is notorious for being a dangerous field, so it’s only natural that safety is a big concern. It’s the company’s responsibility to give their contractors and workers a safe environment in which to work, but what happens when they feel like their needs aren’t being met? It could lead to extended project times, increased operational expenses, and in some cases, may lead to a fatal outcome.

An electrician quit his job at a Charlottesville, North Carolina construction site because he felt that his safety concerns weren’t taken seriously. This was the same property where a construction worker fell 19 floors to his death. According to WSOC TV, the electrician was hired as a subcontractor and quit two weeks after he started. He said that there have plenty of projects where he has felt safer and he doesn’t understand how a person could fall from a buck hoist unless something was left open or wasn’t secure. Authorities have not been able to determine what caused the construction worker’s fall.

The electrician said he notified the designated construction safety contact about his concerns, but he felt that correct action was not taken. Sometimes it takes speaking up to prevent a serious injury or death, a maxim adhered to by a Chicago-based construction site. An employee at the company described their philosophy like this, “if you see something, pick up the phone. You’re not getting in trouble. We won’t think less of you.” He said that a younger team member voiced his safety concerns while on a project, which may have prevented a serious accident.

This example illustrates how a strong safety culture and open lines of communication can help protect everyone on a job site. In addition, The Associated General Contractors of America published an action plan to improve construction worker safety. In it, they recommend that new employees engage in a buddy system and participate in safety orientations. More established construction workers should have additional requirements. Managers and supervisors need effective communication and leadership skills to instill a safe culture. Additionally, foremen and supervisors should attend “Leadership in Safety Excellence” certification courses. The plan also states that everyone should participate in monthly safety programs and carry pocket safety guides for each task and project.

UCIT’s video monitoring solutions can also help protect construction site workers and equipment. Thermal cameras can detect temperature increases before a fire breaks out and will immediately alert a trained security operator who can take immediate action. License plate recognition cameras are beneficial in tracking vehicles coming in and out of your project site and can help with quick incident response. Video monitoring can also be used to give you a clear picture of all activity at your site, reducing workers compensation claims and mitigating liability issues.

Construction safety concerns are too important to ignore. If adequate care isn’t taken, workers may leave a project because they don’t feel safe. In some cases, negligence could lead to severe injury or death.

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