Construction sites are among the most dangerous places to work. So, as a result, safety is an overarching concern. In response to this, and many other dangerous professions, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This law empowered the Department of Labor to increase safety standards. The Department tasked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration with drafting and promulgating rules to regulate workplace safety. This is the entity that you should look to when trying to ascertain your rights and if you believe your employer has violated them.
First things first, you must be aware of your rights. Your employer must prominently post an official OSHA poster in a place in which you will be able to read it. This poster will describe your rights, responsibilities and the general function of OSHA. This is your one-stop-shop on what to do if your employer is not taking safety seriously. Additionally, your employer must explain in simple terms the specific health standards that apply to your workplace, in this case a construction site.
After you know your rights, your employer must comply with them. Your boss must take the necessary steps to remove recognized hazards. This means that your employer is only responsible for hazards of which management is aware, so it is up to you to report any unsafe conditions. As part of this duty, your employer must also provide you with safe tools and equipment to fulfill your duties.
Finally, your employer must provide you with the necessary safety training. For construction sites, this means proper safety procedures for walking around the site, how to handle equipment, qualifications for handling that equipment and anything else that could be considered a hazardous activity.
If you believe that your employer is skirting OSHA safety regulations then you may want to speak to an attorney. You have a right to work in a safe environment, especially if you are a construction worker. You must take responsibility for guaranteeing your rights, the OSHA regulations are only as strong as you and your co-workers are willing to make them. Don’t let a bad boss endanger your safety.