A Quick Guide on Avoiding Construction Accidents


Accidents happen, even if you think you’ve taken every precaution. Avoiding construction accidents should be everyone’s top priority, from the boss right on down to the newest member of the crew. This should also be a goal for people who don’t work the concrete ribbons or the big steel, but encounter a construction site while going about their everyday business.



What the Company Can Do

  • Provide effective training.
  • Provide adequate safety equipment and establish a no-exceptions rule to using it.
  • Perform regular inspections/reviews of the site, equipment, maintenance records, and employee procedures.
  • Equip all hazardous tools with appropriate safety guards.
  • Provide safe, dry, and secure areas for equipment storage and maintenance.
  • Adhere to local, state, and national safety regulations.


What the Crew Can Do

  • When pulled off a job to participate in a training exercise, don’t complain—give the new procedure or refresher your full attention.
  • Avoiding construction accidents means not using a piece of equipment on which you haven’t received training.
  • Crew members who are sick should stay home or perform only low-risk tasks if taking any medications that make them sleepy or dizzy.
  • If a work area needs guardrails, hand holds, non-slip surfaces to walk on, or barriers to reroute traffic, workers should inform supervisors of the situation.
  • Be aware of the hazards of working on or around dangerous areas such as raised scaffolding, open trenches, and machinery with exposed moving parts.
  • Watch not only your own back, but keep an eye out for your coworkers as well.


What the General Public Can Do

  • Speed limits are often lowered in road construction zones. Avoiding construction accidents means staying within the posted speed limit and keeping an eye out for workers who often must do their jobs a few feet or less from lanes of moving traffic.
  • Whether driving or walking, respect temporary barriers that have been set up to protect not only the construction workers, but you as well. Don’t be “that guy” who was too impatient to take an alternate route to your destination.


Avoiding construction accidents takes a combined effort. Call us if someone dropped the ball and you wound up hurt.

When to Reach Out to a Work-Related Injury Attorney


Question: Do you need to hire a work-related injury attorney as soon as you’ve had a mishap on the job? Answer: It depends.



In cases like the following, you don’t need an attorney to navigate through the workers’ comp system:

  • It’s indisputable that the mishap occurred on company property (or on a job site) while you were performing work-related tasks.
  • The injury was minor—a bruise, sprain, or cut that needed a couple of stitches.
  • You didn’t need to take time off to recover.
  • No pre-existing illness contributed to the accident.


Even if you don’t wind up needing a work-related injury attorney, it won’t hurt to schedule a quick, often free consultation to ensure you’re not overlooking anything. Then, if you decide later you need representation, you already have a relationship established.


How do you know when you need to call in the troops? Here are a few red flags:

  • You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do (and hit all the deadlines), yet your claim is denied. Or your settlement is so slow to arrive, you wind up in collections due to unpaid medical bills.
  • Your claim successfully worked its way through the system, but the compensation doesn’t cover your bills or lost income.
  • You’re doing so poorly you can’t return to your previous work, and you’re also unable to work at any other job due to your injury.
  • You were fired because you got injured and filed a legitimate claim.
  • A third party contributed to the occurrence and/or severity of your injuries, such as faulty equipment or a worker from another company.
  • The government (through Social Security) grabs a big chunk of your settlement because it wasn’t worded properly.


When you’re hurt on the job, there’s no time to waste—call for a free consultation with a work-related injury attorney!

What Evidence Does a San Antonio Workplace Injury Lawyer Need?


Gathering evidence for a San Antonio workplace injury lawyer to evaluate can be a delicate process. The company against which you’re gathering proof of your injury likely has you under a microscope, and while you’re building a claim, chances are good they’re also quietly organizing to defeat it. Or, at least, to pay out as little as possible.




What does a San Antonio workplace injury lawyer need to know to properly evaluate your case?


Where and When it Happened

Where were you and what were you doing at the time the injury occurred? Was it on company property or while engaging in company business elsewhere, but on company time? Even if it took place at a company-related recreational activity like a holiday party or picnic, it could qualify as a workplace injury. A San Antonio workplace injury lawyer will know what state laws apply to your case.


It will help to have photographs of the injury and where it occurred to document dangerous conditions such as a wet floor or an unsafe working environment.


Your Employment Status

Do you have a formal, signed employment contract? Or were you informally hired to do some temporary work on a cash-only basis? Were you driving a company truck or using your own vehicle and equipment? Without a signed document stating you are definitely employed by that company, they could claim you are a temporary contractor and, therefore, not qualified to receive compensation for a workplace injury.


Injury Documentation

Did you seek treatment right away? You will need proof in the form of medical records and doctor notes. Also, you will need to have notified your employer of the incident within a specific Workers’ Compensation Act deadline.



If there are any witnesses to your workplace injury, they could be valuable in proving your case. “Witnesses” include anyone who saw your accident when it happened and medical professionals who saw you after the fact.


For more expert advice, schedule a free consultation with an experienced San Antonio workplace injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney.

What Happens When You Hire a Texas Construction Accident Attorney?

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Construction accidents happen in the blink of an eye, but then, without a Texas construction accident attorney on your side, time seems to slow to a crawl as everyone from your employer’s insurance company to worker’s comp to even the medical establishment seem to drag their feet.

Meanwhile, you and your family are going without a paycheck.

Here’s what happens when you hire a Texas construction accident attorney:

  • The sooner after an accident you hire a lawyer, the more likely it is you’ll navigate the system more quickly and without mistakes that can cost time and money.
  • A lawyer can help you cut through mountains of paperwork and act as your advocate with your insurance company, your employer, and the worker’s comp system to get you the compensation you need as fast as possible.
  • An attorney will know all the ways you can receive compensation for expenses incurred from your injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, and the estimated cost of future treatment, therapy, and negative impact on your future earning potential.

When should you contact a Texas construction accident attorney?

Ideally, no more than one or two weeks after the accident occurred.

What happens after you make the initial phone call?

You will schedule an initial consultation, which is usually free. Remember to bring a few things with you to streamline the process and help the attorney determine the validity of your claims, such as:

  • A copy of the contract you signed when you were hired.
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident. Provide the exact address.
  • Pictures of your injuries, even if they aren’t immediately visible. Photograph where it hurts, and take more pictures hours and even days later, as some bruises and swelling may take time to appear.
  • Copies of medical records, doctor’s notes, names and contact information of all the doctors who examined you, x-rays and their associated reports.
  • A calendar marking the days you’ve missed from work since the accident.
  • Names and addresses of witnesses

Need to schedule a consultation with a Texas construction accident attorney? Call us and set up an appointment. We’ll give you a complete list of items to bring with you to our initial meeting.

OSHA Construction Safety 101


OSHA has standards and regulations for all employers, no matter what industry they’re a part of. There are, however, a few sectors considered more dangerous than most. For these, OSHA has created industry-specific safety standards all employers must follow. One such industry is construction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 4 percent of all construction workers are injured on the job every year. Due to this high rate of injury, there are numerous OSHA construction safety standards all employers in the industry must follow.

OSHA Construction Safety 101

Some highlights of these OSHA construction safety standards include:

  • First aid and medical care must be made available and easily accessible for all employees. If there is no hospital or physician reasonably accessible to the construction site, a person with valid first aid training must be on site at all times.
  • All fire protection equipment must be maintained, and fire extinguishers must be made available. The employer also should have a fire protection program in place.
  • All work areas, passageways, and stairwells must be kept clear of scraps, nails, and debris.
  • Any combustible debris must be removed regularly, and a safe means for its removal must be provided.
  • There should be on-site containers for hazardous or flammable waste. These must be kept separately from other waste and trash, and be fitted with a cover.
  • All construction areas, stairs, ramps, shops, storage areas, and offices must be lit with natural or artificial lights while work is in progress.
  • Protective equipment and gear must be provided for all employees. This includes equipment for the eyes, face, head, and extremities, as well as protective clothing, respiratory devices, protective shields, and more.
  • There must be an adequate supply of water in all places where workers are present. Water containers should be marked as such and used only for water and no other liquids.
  • Toilets and urinals must be provided on site. When there are 20 employees, there must be at least one toilet. For 20 to 200 workers, there must be one toilet and one urinal for every 40 workers. If there are 200 or more workers, there must be a toilet and a urinal for every 50.
  • All power tools and equipment must be maintained and kept in good condition. All belts, gears, shafts, pulleys, and other moving parts of these tools must be guarded, to prevent employee contact.
  • All scaffolding should be able to support its own weight, as well as at least four times its maximum intended load.
  • All ramps and walkways more than six feet above ground must have guard rails in place.
  • Any equipment or vehicles left unattended must be fitted with reflectors or lights.
  • All vehicles on the site must be equipped to emit a signal when reversing.


There are hundreds more OSHA construction safety standards, covering everything from the demolition of chutes and the use of explosives to on-site cranes and training requirements.

Violations of OSHA Construction Safety Standards

Since construction sites are such dangerous places, it’s crucial that employers follow the OSHA construction safety standards to the letter. If they don’t, they may be issued a violation from OSHA, which will require them to amend the issue. If the employer fails to fix the issue, they may be issued additional violations, or they could face fines or jail time.


OSHA has the authority to conduct random inspections and ensure employers are following all safety regulations. They also may conduct inspections in response to employee complaints. Any employee who sees safety hazards or risks on their job site should get in contact with their local OSHA office immediately.
After an Injury

Were you hurt because your employer failed to follow OSHA construction safety standards? Call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney at 210-226-8888 today or Contact Us Here.

6 Common Ways Companies Ignore OSHA Construction Safety Policies


OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, sets forth hundreds of rules and regulations intended to help keep workers and employers safe all across the United States. Not all employers follow these regulations, however, and injuries occur regularly, especially in the construction sector. According to OSHA statistics, between October 2012 and September 2013, nearly 30,000 citations were issued because of OSHA construction safety policy violations, resulting in more than $47 million in penalties. Companies ignore OSHA at their own risk.

Common OSHA Construction Safety Citations

While any violation of OSHA guidelines can result in a citation and subsequent fines, there are some violations that are more common than others. The most regularly noted OSHA construction safety violations occur in the following areas:

    • Fall protection – Construction employers are required to have secure fall protection systems in place. Any platform that is more than six feet off the ground must have a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest system for all employees. From October 2012 to September 2013, companies were cited nearly 7,000 times for fall protection violations.


    • Scaffolding – Scaffolding must be able to support its own weight as well as four times its maximum intended load, and all suspension ropes and hardware must be able to hold at least six times their maximum intended load. OSHA construction safety guidelines also specify how planks must be applied, how brackets should be installed, and other important safety details.


    • Respiratory protection – Employers are required to prevent contaminated air, fumes, gases, vapors, and other substances from injuring workers. They must provide respirators applicable to the job at hand and conduct medical evaluations on all employees who use them. There must also be procedures in place for cleaning and maintaining the respirators and training employees to use them properly.


    • Ladders – OSHA requires that all ladders be able to support at least four times their maximum intended load. Each step (depending on the type of ladder in question) must be between eight and fourteen inches apart, and must be fitted with a skid-resistant material to prevent slipping. Between October 2012 and September 2013, ladder violations resulted in more than $3.6 million in fines.


    • Eye and facial protection – When machines, tools, or substances are present that could injure nearby workers’ eyes or faces, OSHA construction safety guidelines require that all employees be provided with adequate optical and facial protective equipment. This equipment must meet the standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute and should be maintained and cleaned regularly.


    • Training – All employees should be instructed on preventing, controlling, and eliminating hazards in the workplace, and any employees required to handle toxic substances must be trained to do so safely and be made aware of the toxins’ potential hazards and dangers.


If employees see any of these or other OSHA construction safety guidelines being violated at their workplace, they are encouraged to file a complaint through OSHA’s website or via their local OSHA representative.

After an OSHA Complaint is Filed

Once an employee has filed a complaint with OSHA alleging safety regulation violations or an unsafe work environment, the OSHA then evaluates the complaint to determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the allegations to be true. If OSHA staff decides that the complaint is valid, a representative will be sent to the workplace to inspect the premises. They will physically check the workplace, interview employees, take pictures, and evaluate the location’s compliance with OSHA regulations, and they will test any on-site safety programs or precautions that may be in place. Once their inspection is complete, the representative will issue a citation for any violations found, and the company or site at fault will be given a deadline by when the violation is to be fixed. If this deadline is not met, they will be issued a daily fine until the problem is resolved.


If you suspect OSHA construction safety violations at your workplace or you were injured because of one, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today to begin filing a safety violations complaint.