Construction worker using a jackhammer

Preventing Equipment-Related Amputations on Summer Construction Sites

As the summer sun beams down on the spectacular skyline of Chicago, construction sites come to life with activity. Warmer weather brings an increase in construction projects across the Chicago suburbs, but along with the projects comes an increase in accidents associated with heavy machinery and equipment. 

Among the most severe risks on summer construction sites are equipment-related amputations, which can lead to life-altering injuries or even fatalities. However, with proper precautions and proactive measures, these tragic incidents can be prevented. If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a construction site, contact the Northbrook construction accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC.

How Can Accidents Best be Prevented?

Ideally, modern technology and comprehensive safety standards should protect workers from most accidents. However, for many reasons, that is not always the case. Sometimes real estate developers, building owners, and others who hire construction workers don’t make the necessary investment in safety technology or in complying with workplace regulations. There are several steps that should be taken on every summer construction site to prevent serious accidents.

Comprehensive Training Programs

Education is the bedrock of safety. Construction workers should undergo thorough training on equipment operation, maintenance, and safety protocols before entering any work site. Training should include identifying potential hazards, understanding emergency procedures, and proper operation techniques. Regular refresher courses should also be offered to reinforce safety practices.

Follow the Rules on Workplace and Equipment Safety 

Employers must ensure they comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and any local ordinances. This includes regular inspections, proper equipment maintenance, and providing necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and steel-toed boots.

Before each use, equipment must undergo thorough inspections to identify any signs of wear, damage, or malfunction. This includes checking for loose bolts, hydraulic leaks, frayed cables, or faulty electrical components. Any issues must be promptly addressed, and defective equipment should be taken out of service until repairs are completed.

Machinery should be equipped with adequate guarding to prevent accidental contact with moving parts. Additionally, lockout/tagout procedures must be strictly followed when servicing or repairing equipment to prevent unexpected startup or release of stored energy, which can result in catastrophic injuries.

Clear Communication and Coordination

Effective communication is essential on construction sites to prevent accidents. Clear protocols should be established for signaling, equipment movement, and work zones. Workers must be vigilant and communicate any concerns or hazards promptly to supervisors or their peers. Additionally, coordination between different teams and contractors is crucial to ensure everyone is aware of potential risks and safety procedures.

Each individual on the construction site bears responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. Workers should be encouraged to speak up if they observe unsafe practices or conditions. Empowering employees to take ownership of safety fosters a culture of vigilance and accountability.

Periodic safety meetings and toolbox talks provide an opportunity to discuss specific hazards, share best practices, and reinforce safety protocols. These gatherings promote engagement, foster teamwork, and ensure that safety remains a top priority for everyone on the site.

Contact Our Northbrook Construction Accident Lawyers Today

The rights of Chicago area tradesmen and construction workers must be protected. Equipment-related amputations are life-altering not only for the injured worker but for their families too. If you or a loved one were severely injured on a construction site, contact the experienced construction accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC as soon as you can to discuss the facts of your case.