Laborers Are Calling For Safer Construction Building Sites

Laborers are calling for safer building sites after many have suffered injury or even death while on the job. Antonio, a construction worker located in Houston, Texas, spoke out about his experience getting hurt on the job.

He said that he was given no protection when working, so he fell and a nail injured him right above his ankle. The contractor put hydrogen peroxide on the wound and promised to “take him to the doctor the next day.” As Antonio went home, the swelling became too much, and after accruing more serious symptoms, he drove himself to the emergency room.

He was told by doctors that he was only a few minutes away from them having to amputate. “I spent about sixteen days in the hospital,” said Antonio. He continued to say that the contractor hadn’t answered him the whole time this happened until about two weeks after and he called to “see if he was ready to work.”

Antonio is one of four hundred thousand workers who have dealt with this. In 2022, there were almost nine hundred fatalities recorded.

Legally, Employers are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, to protect workers from injury and harm in the workplace. “Construction is a dangerous industry, but falls are preventable. We know how to prevent these incidents,” says the safety and health specialist of the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America, Ryan Paperiello.

In a lot of cases where these injuries or deaths are happening, the OSHA rules are not being followed to begin with. Experts have also said that a lot of people are just not willing to speak up and say when something they’re doing or being asked to do is dangerous.

Many construction workers have said that on top of the potential injuries, lack of protection, and overall danger of the job, many of them are also not given proper breaks or enough water while working. The fear of retaliation or not being able to work again is another huge factor in why a lot of workers don’t speak up about this.