Helmet and construction workers
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Getting the job done without anyone getting hurt is the goal of most companies engaged in the construction industry here in Texas. But with construction projects on the rise, the prevalence of workplace injuries at construction sites goes up as well. The goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor is to reduce and, hopefully, eliminate on-the-job injuries. When it comes to the numerous hazards involved in construction, OSHA has created a series of regulations governing this industry that apply here in Texas. Understanding these regulations is not just important for your company’s legal compliance but will also help reduce workplace injuries so you won’t face as many workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits.


The most common cause of fatalities at job sites is when a worker falls from a distance. This is also the main reason why many construction workers get injured at work. Construction often demands that workers be placed in positions that are at least six feet off the ground. When this happens, the employer must provide fall protection. 

The regulations governing fall protection entail five different requirements. Construction workers must always wear a harness and stay connected. In addition, the harness must be checked to make sure it is secure and properly fitted. When working on roofs and other high places, each worker must be tied to lifelines or have guardrails to prevent slipping and falling. Someone at the job site must be tasked with inspecting all fall protection equipment before they are used. Finally, all skylights, openings, and other holes in the roof must be properly covered. This will prevent workers from falling through them.


The use of scaffolding at construction sites is an important consideration. Not only will it provide protection for your workers, but it will also shield any pedestrians who may pass by the job site while you are working. Construction work, especially that being done on tall buildings, can cause debris or objects to fall. The scaffolding will prevent your workers and these other people from being accidentally hit by falling objects.

When you use scaffolding, it must be fully planked. This will reduce the risk of falls. The scaffolding should always be checked so that it is level and plumb to the ground. The footing must be stable as well. Loose, unbalanced, or rickety scaffolding will lack structural integrity, increasing the chance that it will fail. You should provide proper access to and egress from the scaffolding to ensure that no workers fall. Proper guardrails on the scaffolding will reduce the risk of falls. Once the scaffolding has been placed, it should be inspected by someone who was not involved in its construction.

Ladders & Stairways

Ladders are a necessary tool for most construction projects. This allows your worker to safely reach high places. However, improper ladder use can lead to injuries. In addition, many sites may contain stairways. These should be properly checked for safety.

When using a ladder, make sure that it has been properly placed with three points of contact. If it is wobbling, then you may have a problem. Never place a ladder on an uneven footing. There are many different types of ladders, so always make sure you are using the right one with the proper length for the job. Always have your crewmembers face the ladder when working, and if the ladder is particularly high, have them use a harness attached to the ladder to reduce the risk of falling.

Stairways also must be compliant with OSHA regulations. There are different rules for ones that will be a permanent part of the structure and others that relate to temporary stairs used only during construction. One thing that applies to all stairways is that they must be kept free of debris, including protruding nails, as these can be major tripping hazards.

Electrical Work

Electricity is vital for any construction job. Not only will it be necessary to have a properly installed electrical system by a licensed electrician for the finished structure, but you will also need to properly access electricity for your tools. This is why it is important to make sure that all electrical sources are properly grounded to reduce the risk of shocks and electrocution. In addition, improper electricity can cause fires and explosions. This is why you need to comply with all OSHA rules regarding electrical work, including the use of properly licensed electricians.

Trenching & Excavation

If your construction work involves any trenching or excavation, then it is crucial that you comply with the applicable OSHA regulations. Trenches expose your workers to cave-ins, falling loads, hazardous fumes, and even dangers from excavation equipment. All trenches that are greater than or equal to five feet deep must have a protection system to prevent cave-ins. Also, any excavations must be free of standing water and hazardous atmospheres. All trench walls must be properly sloped and shored up, using things like aluminum hydraulic supports. Trench boxes can help shield the walls and prevent cave-ins.


When using trucks, backhoes, tractors, and other motor vehicles on-site, it is crucial that only workers properly trained and licensed to use the vehicles are tasked with operating them. Seat belts should be worn by the driver and all passengers, and rollover protection should be maintained on such vehicles. A trained flagger should be given the task of guiding all vehicles at the job site. Accidents with specialized motor vehicles are a common cause of worker injuries. Taking the proper precautions can reduce this risk.

Contact Our Houston Construction Accident Attorneys for a FREE Consultation

OSHA regulations are important for reducing workplace injuries at construction sites here in Texas. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen. If you need guidance on the applicable OSHA regulations or have suffered an injury at a construction site, call Hernandez Sunosky LLP today. Our experienced construction attorneys can assist you with all of your legal needs.

Based in Kingwood, Hernandez Sunosky LLP serves clients in Houston, Atascocita, Humble, New Caney, Porter, Pearland, and across Texas. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to support you in your time of need, providing the guidance you require to seek justice and compensation.