Construction workers are in a difficult position when it comes to reporting an employer who has unsafe working conditions. The construction worker may be fearful of retaliation, losing employment, or be subject to peer pressure to keep quiet. Construction sites are dangerous at the best of times; when an employer is cutting corners and putting workers at risk, the dangers can be extreme. Failing to install all required barriers, provide safety equipment and tools in good working order, and ensure every worker on the site is protected as required by law can save money – but result in lost lives.
Peer Pressure is a Problem
Other workers who are aware of the problems on a worksite may apply pressure on other workers not to report dangerous working conditions. A shut-down due to an unsafe jobsite could lead to a shutdown, and lost work. Construction workers are not generally highly paid, often living from paycheck to paycheck, and a shutdown could cause financial hardship. Employees may generally agree that they do not want their employer to suffer damage to their safety record and may be due a bonus if the record is maintained.
Difficulties in Reporting
Many workers may not easily read English or understand the complex process of reporting unsafe working conditions. It may be so difficult to report dangerous hazards that the worker just decides to continue working and stay silent.
Reporting Takes Time Workers Don’t Have
Construction workers typically have a long workday, and the idea of reporting unsafe conditions will take time they don’t feel they have to spare. Workers often make the decision to try to avoid the risks, rather than go through the trouble of filing a report.
Failing to Report Can Lead to Serious or Fatal Injuries.
If your employer is cutting corners and is not maintaining a safe worksite, failing to report the issues can lead to serious or fatal injuries that could have been avoided. You have the right to do your work in an environment that is as safe as possible. As the construction industry is the most dangerous in the nation, the least you should expect is an employer who follows the law.
Injured in a Construction Accident?
If you were injured while working construction in New York, you are not alone. New York authorities issued Stop Work orders 1,500 times in 2021, visiting 7,500 construction sites to evaluate working conditions. With fatalities on the rise, and 3,600 safety violations identified in a sweep related to the city’s Zero Tolerance policy. The majority of the injuries reported were the result of improper safety harnesses while working on higher floors. Employers are required to supply their workers with approved safety harnesses in good working order. When a harness fails, it can lead to a fall that leaves a worker unable to earn a living due to sustaining serious injuries.
Injured while working construction? Contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986-7353 immediately for a free consultation. We are dedicated, experienced, and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.