Those that work in the construction industry have seen remarkable improvements to health and safety over the last decade. Things really did have to change after the turn of the millennium. It was getting all too silly and dangerous just to go to work in the morning. We have all seen the iconic pictures of workers atop skyscrapers without any harness or safety cable tied to them. It was mind-bogglingly dangerous and needlessly so. Although that might be extreme, there have been some brilliant changes over the years to the general construction site. However, it is still a loud, messy and dangerous place to work. If you have a momentary lapse in judgment and a small bout of carelessness, you can end up getting seriously injured or even worse. No one ever teaches you what to do if you are injured. It’s a kind of ‘hope it doesn’t happen to you’ kind of thing. Firstly you need to focus on clearly surmising the situation.
The immediate seconds after
When you have been involved in a work injury in the construction industry, you need to stay calm. More than likely you might have slipped and fell, something could have landed on top of you or you have been hurt by a machine. The first thing you need to do is to stay still. It’s going to be difficult but just remaining calm and focussing on your breathing is the first things you need to do. Then you should call for help in a long but firm shout. Take breaks between these shouts as you don’t want to tire your lungs out that may have been injured or are dealing with less blood traveling to them. Stay calm and don’t move as this can make the injury or bleed worse. These immediate seconds after the injury are going to be crucial to your recovery and emergency care.
When someone comes to help, they should be told to call for emergency services. Although this is going to be second nature to someone, sometimes people can be shocked by the injuries they see. They could try to help you but first things first, you need them to call for an ambulance. Then putting pressure on a bleeding wound is vital to your survival. Keep calm and keep breathing. Keep talking to the caregivers and wait for the ambulance to arrive.
Was it really avoidable?
Most injuries at work are totally avoidable. Construction might be a dangerous industry to be in but it doesn’t mean you’re going to work in a minefield. You should not have to put up with undue and unwarranted risks to your health. The question now is, was the injury avoidable? In most cases, yes it was avoidable but there are some things that might have stopped you from taking proper precautions. If these things were totally out of your hands, then you have a good chance of forming a successful case. Speak to personal injury attorneys providing experienced legal help in work-related injuries. If you have fallen from a ladder or scaffolding especially, they can form the case for you and make sure you are getting deserved compensation.
Many companies will provide equipment to workers even though they might want to use their own. This is because they believe that a uniformed approach means that their workers will be more reliable both in their hazard awareness and capabilities. Yet this can also lead to damaged or just plain wrong equipment being given out to workers. If this is the case, then a faulty ladder or incorrect scaffolding can be the cause of serious injuries.
Make a note of it
After an injury, you will have plenty of time to think as you lay up in bed. If you did make some kind of recommendation for greater safety precautions to be implemented then you should use this as part of your case for compensation. It’s sad but true that so many employees do offer suggestions to their bosses, to make the work environment safer and better for employees but often go unnoticed. This isn’t something that can be taken lightly as you are someone who works in a dangerous industry. You’re the one who is on the ground every day and seeing what is going on. You have firsthand experience of the seriousness of some issues. It could be open wires, moving objects that don’t have warning signs, it might even be the bluntness of tools that need to do cutting work.
These small things can one day add up and cause huge problems. It’s both ironic and sad that you have been hurt by the very same thing that you warned would or might happen. There simply is no excuse for why your suggestions weren’t taken seriously. Make a note of the in-person talks you had as well as any kind of written communication with managers or your boss.
Speaking to other employees can really shine a light on a consistent problem. Maybe the injury you sustained wasn’t something that was out of the ordinary. Employees that share your concern can be of great help in figuring out how this could have happened. An accident is one thing but negligence from the company or managers is another. You cannot have a safe working environment if those that are in charge are not listening to their employees. Genuine concerns might have been swept underneath the rug. So go and talk to other employees and see how they feel about the lack of care and safety in the workplace. You never know you could use their opinions as evidence to further your case if you are going to fight for compensation in the courts.
It’s a shame when you’re injured at work and do not arrive home the same as you left. Thankfully there are plenty of ways you can make sense of an accident. It could just be bad luck or could be something that could have been avoided altogether.
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.