Maybe you see the empty bottles in the crane, perhaps you hear the crane operator slur his words, or it could be that you smell alcohol on his breath. You are concerned about how he can use such a heavy piece of equipment while intoxicated. He could lose control or make a mistake that ends up seriously injuring or killing someone on your construction site and you feel responsible. What should you do?
Take Immediate Action
According to the United States Department of Labor, workers in the construction industry are among the American workers with the highest rates of heavy alcohol and illicit drug use. The effects of working under the influence can be catastrophic. Before anyone is hurt or loses his or her life, it is important for you to:
- Talk to the crane operator, if it is safe to do so. Ask him to stop and point out the dangers.
- Talk to your employer. Your employer needs to know what is happening and should take steps to prevent anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs from working on the job site.
- Report the danger to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If the situation is not resolved quickly then you may need to report the violation to OSHA in order to protect yourself and others from harm.
These are not easy conversations to have with or about a coworker, but they could be critical.
It Is Also Important for You to Know What to Do If You Are Injured
If you've been hurt, you need to get immediate medical attention. You also need to know how to protect your legal rights. Please read our free brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You're Not Alone, to learn more.