The Hazards of Working Construction After Dark Part 2
As we discussed in part one, night-time construction work presents many construction firms with hurdles, but they can be overcome. Below, we will discuss how construction firms can mitigate the hazards that plague construction crews at night. Some of these recommendations are common sense, while others are required by law. To ensure that your construction sites are compliant with all local and federal laws, consult with a Fort Lauderdale construction attorney from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.
You should encourage your workers to maintain a stable sleep schedule and healthy diet to ensure that they are getting as much sleep as they can. Coffee should be used sparingly to prevent sleeplessness from too much caffeine. Black-out curtains can mean the difference between a good night's sleep and restless tossing and turning for your workers.
As an employer, it may not seem like it’s your responsibility to ensure that your workforce is getting enough sleep, but these small changes can have a massive impact on worker morale and safety. Well-rested workers will be less irritable, safer to work with, and more productive, while exhausted workers are more likely to be unsatisfied with their personal lives and pursue alternative careers. If you want to keep your workers and, more importantly, keep them safe, you should create a schedule that allows for enough sleep.
Safety on Infrastructure Projects
As mentioned in part one, Florida is an incredibly dangerous state for construction crews working on or near roadways. High visibility is the most important aspect of safety on projects like these. Construction workers who are exposed to traffic should be provided with high-visibility warning garments. Cones, barricades, flaggers, and a police presence can also help to ensure the safety of your workforce when they are working on infrastructure projects.
Even though artificial lighting is a poor substitute for the real thing, construction firms are still required to provide their workers with adequate lighting. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires construction sites to provide an area of lighting that is equivalent to five foot-candles. This unit of measurement may be less than useful for modern construction firms. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program has recommended illumination levels for construction work, and they are as follows:
- Level 1: 54 lumen per sq. m for all work operation areas
- Level 2: 108 lumen per sq. m around areas with construction equipment
- Level 3: 215 lumen per sq. m around pavement repair and patching
Your Responsibility to Your Employees
Whether your workers are exhausted or in danger of being struck by traffic, it is your responsibility as an employer to provide your workforce with a hazard-free work environment. Failure to do so can result in an inspection from OSHA and subsequent penalties. The time it takes for you to protect your workers is minuscule compared to the fall out of having a worker injured on your watch. To ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep your workforce productive and safe, consult with a Fort Lauderdale construction attorney from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.
If you would like to speak with one of our Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.