OSHA Regulations to Avoid Construction Accidents

Updated February 22, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Construction accidents often happen due to negligence. Workers need to be properly trained to reduce accidents, especially when heavy machinery is being used. Construction employees are often contractors who do not receive specialized training for each site. Incongruent procedures and miscommunications lead to the construction industry being one of the most dangerous.

Standardizing workplace practices can improve the overall safety of different construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has many regulations to guarantee that accidents are kept to a minimum.

What Is OSHA?

OSHA refers to two separate categories—a law and an organization. The Occupational Safety and Health Act passed in 1970 ensures that all employees in the U.S. have a right to do their job safely. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration implements and enforces the provisions of the Act. 

OSHA in Indiana helps maintain workplace safety across a multitude of industries. Construction sites see a disproportionate amount of injuries due to the nature of work they perform around heavy machinery. Compliance with OSHA standards and site regulations can help lessen the frequency of these injuries and prevent unnecessary workers’ compensation cases. 

OSHA Construction Site Regulations

OSHA works by setting guidelines to be followed on construction sites at all times. Employers must learn about OSHA protocols when they begin their business, and often employees must take a relevant course. Many companies also have an individual who is an expert on OSHA’s rules and is dedicated to keeping the workplace safe.

 Here are some of OSHA’s regulations that need to be followed at all times:

  • Machinery must be in good working order, including brakes, lights, horns, and windshield wipers.
  • Operators must be trained before using any machinery.
  • All machinery needs to be checked and repaired before use and every shift.
  • Make sure that every vehicle has a reverse signal that can be heard above the construction noise.
  • The operator’s safety is very important for all machinery loaded from above. The operators must be safely located in cabs. All machinery needs to have rollover protection. Machinery can roll over, so it is vital to protect operators.
  • Machinery should not be modified. Modifications may change the safety features of the machine, putting workers in danger of an accident. The only time that you can do so is if you have written permission.
  • Make sure that all roads are safe for driving equipment before using them.

It is crucial to follow OSHA’s regulations. You need to maintain your machinery and check it before every shift. You should never modify any machinery unless you have permission. Also, operators need to be trained before driving equipment. Accidents happen if people don’t know what they are doing.

OSHA’s General Duty Clause

One of the primary parts of OSHA is the “general duty clause” found in Section 5. This section states that every employer and employee in the country must comply with occupational safety and health standards set by the Act. 

The first element of Part (a) also states that each employer “shall furnish to each of his employee’s employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;”

Essentially, employers in the U.S. must offer their employees a safe workplace. Suppose an Indiana employer does not meet these requirements. In that case, they may be held liable for any injuries or illnesses resulting from the hazard. 

Maintaining a Safe Construction Site

OSHA and Workers’ Compensation

The Indiana Labor and Safety Code dictates workers’ compensation in the state. employers are protected from civil lawsuits under workers’ compensation laws as long as they have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits can assist employees who were injured on the job.

Indiana OSHA Reporting

As an employee in Indiana, you share part of the responsibility in making workplaces safe. You are obligated to report those hazards when you notice unsafe working conditions that make injuries or illnesses more likely. Ideally, your employer will take this opportunity to address the issue and prevent any accidents. 

Make it clear that you believe the hazard presents an imminent danger. If your employer refuses to solve the problem, ignores your concerns, or retaliates when you refuse to work in an unsafe environment, you should contact OSHA as soon as possible and file a complaint with OSHA. An Indiana OSHA complaint must be submitted within 30 days of the issue. 

There is no specific form you need to file, but you need to call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and contact your closest office. The Indianapolis office deals with most employers in the state of Indiana. The phone number for the OSHA Indianapolis Area Office is (317) 232-2693.

OSHA in Indiana

Many employees—and some employers—know that OSHA exists but overlook the specific regulations. Sometimes they may be unaware that they are engaging in unsafe practices. Much of what OSHA tries to do is educate the public. Many employers know that going against OSHA will ultimately cost them more money when paying out injury lawsuits.

Legal professionals will work with OSHA and your employer to negotiate an adequate settlement for your suffering. If your company displays a pattern of gross negligence, you may even be eligible for punitive damages. Both OSHA’s involvement in the case and your employer’s response will be considered when determining your settlement. 

Indiana OSHA FAQ

Contact a Construction Site Accident Attorney Today

If you are injured from a work hazard that you didn’t know about or thought was fixed, you should contact a lawyer. An unsafe work conditions lawyer will help you prove that you are entitled to compensation by showing that your employer was aware of the danger. It’s best to have a written record or copy of the report. 

Indiana construction accident lawyers can also protect you from employer retaliation if you are fired or “disciplinary action” is taken against you for reporting a hazard. Even though an Indiana employer can fire you for no reason, they cannot fire you for a discriminatory reason, including filing a complaint with OSHA. 

Remember that OSHA requires all employers to offer their employees a reasonably safe work environment. As it is their general duty, you should not be punished for blowing the whistle. 

Request a Free Consultation

Contact Us

Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.

Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

Located In Indianapolis
Back to Top