Keeping Your Construction Safe

Hazardous conditions are a day-to-day reality for workers at many construction sites. To ensure safety on the job site, there are five crucial construction safety measures that every construction worker must follow:

  1. Double-check work areas. Both scaffolds and ladders are integral parts of most construction sites, and both are associated with a high number of injuries. Inspect both before use to ensure that they are safe.
  2. Be cautious with electricity and electrical equipment. Always follow the safety precautions provided for the equipment you plan to use or ask for proper instructions from a supervisor.
  3. Maintain fencing. Avoid dangerous areas with damaged fencing or that lack fencing altogether, and inform your site supervisor of the risk.
  4. Always wear protective apparel and equipment. This includes a well-fitted helmet, protective eyewear, ear plugs for working in noisy areas and protective gloves when working with toxic chemicals. Wear highly visible clothing as well.

Keep first aid nearby.Basic first aid for minor injuries should be available on-site so workers can receive treatment immediately.

Contractor Fined After Worker Fatality

Although in Alaska, The Department of Labor and Workforce Development fined a contractor $280,000 for failing to follow proper shoring and bracing procedures, leading to the death of a worker after a wall collapsed onto him during a demolition project.  CA is much harder on construction safety!

The contractor was also fined for misclassifying his employees—including the deceased employee—as independent contractors in an effort to avoid paying unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and payroll taxes.  There is no such thing as a 1099 employee.  There are set rules that govern if a worker is a subcontractor (1099) worker, or a w-2 worker.  Beyond this issue it is also felony workers compensation fraud to avoid paying workers compensation on these workers unless they pass the test… just call and ask your GDI Insurance Agency Broker for the rules we are happy to help.

Employers who mislabel independent contractors risk having to pay fines and overdue payroll taxes to the IRS. Furthermore, the state workers’ compensation agency could levy fines and press criminal charges.   Also should one of these workers become injured the employer is responsible for the medical, loss of income and any disability themselves.