Construction Safety Signs – Necessity at Construction Sites

Recently a 31-year-old worker working on a construction site in New York was killed in an accident. This deadly accident occurred when the man was working on a cherry picker and a metal pipe fell from above and hit the picker. The worker was thrown some 20 feet to the ground below. It was not clear whether the worker was properly secured in the cherry picker and aware of the potential danger. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has halted the work on the project and is investigating the case.

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 617 people were killed on construction sites in the year 2009. This number has decreased by approximately 12% from the year 2008. The decrease in accidents is the result of laws relating to the safety of the workers at construction sites. When these serious accidents occur at construction sites, questions that arise are, ‘were the construction safety signs properly grounded?’  ‘Did the accident happen due the negligence of a co-worker?’ Such questions should necessarily be answered while implementing safety procedures, which could help prevent mishaps.

Construction sites are risky work environments. A worker has to guard himself against unidentified dangerous situations. These situations can relate to high voltage areas, debris and heavy equipment in the area. Such catastrophic accidents can be avoided if the construction safety signs are fixed according to the law. Little negligence and carelessness can lead to disaster on construction sites. One careless error on the part of laborer, engineer or foremen can result in critical injuries or permanent disabilities or even a death.

Construction companies are required to warn the workers and visitors about the threats in their work area. Proper signs in the construction site can help inform the workers of the dangers. Some signs are specifically designed to suit construction sites. The fluorescent shades of orange provide higher visibility than standard orange, especially during dusk. All road construction signs should be retro reflective to illuminate. Images of the warning should also be the part of construction signs. They can be helpful to the people who do not read well or only speak their native language.

Danger-Open Trench SignWhen choosing a construction sign, the number and type of sign depends on the location they are used.  For example, construction signs along a curvy road need to be placed more frequently as compare on a straight road. All states have specific laws relating to the placement of construction signs; OSHA and MUTCD provide the backbones for these laws. The laws relating to New York City states that construction sites should include a ban on smoking, registration with the department for construction, demolition and concrete work, and uniform color-coding of sign boards.

A good construction safety sign will always ensure safety of the workers in the environment and help reduce the number of accidents and deaths.  However, accidents will still take place. In that case, compensation is the only restoration that can be provided to an injured worker. For example, New York Law has placed a distinct importance on the safety of workers at a construction site. Legal protection covers workers injured while at a site of building construction, demolition, renovation, repair, or alteration. Under Section 200, 240, 241, workers are entitled to recover damages regardless of the person at fault for the accident.

At the same time, Florida labor laws state that construction workers should take safety training courses and be provided with hard hats and similar safety materials. Employees are also required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay for injuries sustained while on the job. All states have similar legislation.