The construction industry is set to boom in 2017. While this is good for construction employment in Texas and shows a positive trend in the economy, construction firms must keep a keen eye on the safety of their employees. Construction safety has increased dramatically in the last few decades, but 2015 was still one of the most dangerous years for construction work compared to nearly all other professions, including manufacturing. Professionals specializing in safety report that training and experience of employees are essential.
According to OSHA, there are four important types of construction accidents: caught-in or caught-between, electrocution, falls and struck by. The good news is that this means workers and managers can be specially trained to avoid these high-risk accidents so the workplace is safer.
The downside to a dramatic increase in construction work is a lack of skilled workers. Since education and experience are key to avoiding accidents, hiring many workers who are untrained or inexperienced increases workplace hazards not just for those employees but for everyone at the construction site. Often, mistakes made by one employee will harm another, regardless of the other employee's experience.
Despite increases in workplace safety, construction sites remain hazardous. When employees are injured on the job, they might have a few options and important decisions to make. Most of them will be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim. This is an option many workers take, and negligence is not a factor in compensation. The downside is that they cannot file a lawsuit against the employer if they accept benefits. If negligence by an employer caused the injury, a lawsuit may be better than workers' compensation. For example, if a contractor cut corners on hiring and did not provide proper training or adherence to safety guidelines, it could become liable for an accident. The choice is an important topic to discuss with an attorney.