It appears that 2016 might be a year of a fair amount of employment growth in the construction industry. In a recent survey of construction firms, 71 percent of the respondent firms indicated that they anticipate increasing their workforce this year. One wonders if a fair number of construction sites here in New York City will be seeing an influx in new workers this year.

New workers at construction firms deserve a safe work environment just as much as more-seasoned employees. There are some special safety concerns though that can arise in connection to new workers. New workers may not be as familiar with the particular safety issues of a given position and work site. They may also feel hesitant to bring up safety worries they have, not wanting to rock the boat as they are just starting with a company. 

So, when construction companies bring on new workers, it can critical for the companies to take steps to help get their new workers on the right track safety-wise and to protect the safety of their new workers. Examples of such steps include:

  • Providing proper safety orientation to new hires.
  • Creating an environment in which new employees feel comfortable reporting safety concerns. 
  • Having a "buddy system" for new workers.
  • Giving appropriate ongoing training to new hires. 

When a person is a relatively new construction hire, they can be adjusting to a lot of new and unfamiliar things. Thus, when a newer construction worker is hurt on the job, they may be tempted to put off thinking about legal matters, in a desire to not add another thing onto their plate. However, delaying in looking into potential compensation options following a construction accident could potentially lead to a worker's options shrinking. Thus, when a construction worker is hurt at a work site, whether they are new or seasoned, promptly seeking out legal advice on their situation can be important. 

Source: Safety+Health, "Staying safe in construction," Tom Musick, March 27, 2016 

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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