Parts of North Carolina were devastated by Hurricane Michael. Entire communities suffered widespread damage from wind, rain and rising flood waters. As a result, construction and remediation companies have years of reconstruction work ahead. The good news is this means more work to go around. The bad news is it may result in higher incidents of workplace injury.
What can you do to protect yourself on the job? Construction is a labor-intensive pursuit and a few simple tips can help keep you safe.
1. Wear protective gear
Some construction companies adhere to the rules set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration pretty strictly. However, there are instances when people take shortcuts to expedite a job, save money or out of laziness.
When it comes to taking the easy way out around the job site, never skip the proper safety gear. Protect your eyes with goggles, your lungs with masks or aspirators, and your head from falling debris. Utilize tethers and harnesses to protect yourself from fall hazards.
2. Work for licensed contractors
When the work is plentiful, especially after a disaster, contractors may start taking on jobs even without the proper license. Some come from neighboring states and hire local laborers to do the work. If you are on the lookout for work, do some digging and make sure the company you are working for is legitimate.
3. Report an injury immediately
Even with safety gear, accidents still happen. If you sustain an injury while working, report it immediately. Failing to do so may result in a delay in treatment, which may result in further injury. If you witness an incident while on the job, report it. An employer cannot fire you or threaten to do so because you file a workers' compensation claim.
Construction sites have some of the highest rates of workplace incidents of any job. Protecting yourself on the job site with these precautions may mean the difference between staying healthy and suffering a devastating injury.