Because construction work is so potentially dangerous, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces several safety regulations at construction sites. These regulations can be roughly divided into construction worker rights and obligations OSHA places on contractors and similar employers to provide a reasonably safe workplace.
Among the rights construction workers enjoy under federal law are:
- The right to review copies of the appropriate standards, rules, regulations etc. that are provided by the employer.
- Access to relevant employee exposure and medical records.
- The ability to request an inspection from the OSHA area director if the worker believes there are violations or hazardous conditions, and have an authorized employee accompany the inspector.
- Freedom from discrimination or retaliation from their employer after filing a complaint with OSHA.
- Provide a workplace free of recognized hazards.
- Provide employees with safe tools and equipment.
- Give workers safety training in a language the workers understand.
- Inform workers that their medical and exposure records are available, and the location of those records, when they begin employment and at least once a year afterward.
- Also, inform employees of OSHA safety and health standards that apply to their particular workplace.
These regulations are intended to keep construction sites in West Virginia as safe as reasonably possible. Nevertheless, accidents still occur and construction workers get seriously hurt. It can take months or years to recover from a construction injury. Some victims never fully recover. Even worse, some die from their injuries.
Workers’ compensation can help, but time is of the essence for victims. An attorney can help, especially if your initial application is denied.