Worker-safety concerns during Oklahoma’s large-scale construction projects

Several big construction ventures are developing in the state of Oklahoma. Although these projects bring forth exciting new possibilities, worker's safety during any construction assignment is always a concern.

The new projects that are developing

The Oklahoma University Board approved of a new athletics building in January with construction to start this spring. The training facility will be home to OU's largest women's athletic team and will provide flexibility for practices and training. The building will cost $6.5 million and will cover 24,000 square feet.

A second sizeable construction project is due to start this summer. An Embassy Suites will be placed in the Oklahoma Health Center and is set for construction in downtown Oklahoma City. The plan was first pitched in 2008, but the idea unfortunately slowed down due to a declining economy. The Embassy Suites project is now back on track and will contain 194 rooms costing $25 million to build. Up to nine other hotel buildings are either under construction or up for discussion in the downtown area alone.

These projects bring promise to the Oklahoma economy and will bring a significant number of construction jobs to the area. The positive element of job growth may have a downside in the increased need to protect workers through company safety measures as the industry expands.

Protecting construction workers

With the added construction, it is essential that precautions be followed in order to protect worker safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets the guidelines that every employer must follow in regards to construction worker safety. OSHA requires that all workers be trained on safety issues in the work place because of the unique dangers that they face while on the job. This training gives workers guidance as to proper safety methods and may prevent injury or even death.

OSHA also requires that employers supply proper safety equipment to assist employees while working at their hazardous jobs. This equipment includes eye, face and respiratory protection. All equipment provided should be in good condition. Employers are also responsible for maintaining safety equipment that is up to code. The work environment must be deemed safe for workers and any dangerous and unnecessary obstacles must be removed to avoid injury.

Personal injury cases when employers do not uphold their duty

Because construction sites can be particularly dangerous, it is essential that employers create a safe working environment. When a construction injury results because an employer fails to supply proper safety precautions, the company may be found negligent and held accountable.

Injuries can result from defective tools or hazardous machinery, accidents with forklifts, or improper warnings or safety measures. When an employer is found liable, they are responsible for the injury and resulting damages. Compensation can be paid to the employee for missed time at work, medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Injured construction workers are entitled to support during their time of rehabilitation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help the worker file claims, negotiate with the employer or insurance company and take steps towards mediation and civil court action. A attorney can help the injured party to get started on their road to recovery and hold employers responsible for safety violations or negligent actions.