6 Michigan Safety Codes That Keep Construction Workers Safe
Everyone needs standards, and safety codes for construction help reduce injury in one of America’s most dangerous professions. Construction accident lawyers at our law firm can offer amazing help and support if these safety standards are not met or if a workplace incident results in worker injury.
However, it’s useful to be aware of safety and health administration codes the state of Michigan has enacted to protect members of one of its most important professions. Everyone has a right to workplace safety and health, free from harassment and personal hazard. The following standards and codes are taken from LARA, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that enforce Michigan occupational safety.
Everyone has a right to a safe and sanitary working environment. LARA’s Rules 128, 129, and 130 dictate that employers in Michigan must provide:
- Drinking water in a container or containers that are nontoxic
- Individual, personal water drinking cups or bottles
- Safe storage of drinking water cups and safe disposal of used cups
- No mixing of non-drinking water with drinking water
- Adequate toilets for construction crew as per state-regulated toilet to worker ratio
- Adequate servicing of toilets to maintain standards of health and cleanliness
- Toilet paper
- Sanitary washing facilities for any and all employees who might come into contact with hazardous materials, chemicals, etc.
The rules and regulations go on, so refer to LARA’s website. Contact construction accident lawyers or a workers’ compensation attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. if you’ve already dealt with injury or illness due to site mismanagement. Sanitation infractions are generally pretty easy to spot once you are familiar with the rules, so don’t be afraid to contact legal counsel if an infraction has occurred.
2. Fall Protection
LARA code 1926.501 dictates that employers have a duty to provide fall protection for their employees. In general, a height of 6 feet or more requires adequate fall protection. Depending on the situation, such as hazardous material being located under the worker, fall protection may be required for lower heights. Here are some situations that require such protection:
- Unprotected sides and edges
- Hoist areas
- Overhead bricklaying or related work
- Residential construction
- Wall openings
- Falling objects
This list is not complete or exhaustive, but it gives you a general idea of how much protection is required by law in Michigan. If it’s required by law and not provided, a workers’ compensation attorney at our law firm can help you know your rights.
3. Fire Protection and Prevention
The state of Michigan requires that employers supply adequate fire protection and prevention equipment and standards. Codes 408.41801 through 408.41884 dictate what kind of protection and strategies are required depending on the situation. The rules are extensive, and there are many standards that employers and employees in Michigan are legally required to follow, thus enforcing occupational safety.
- Employers must have permits to openly burn certain materials and certain materials are prohibited from being burned due to advanced air pollution
- Employees must receive training and education in the handling of hazardous materials if applicable and prepare emergency action and response practices in regard to the handling of these materials
- Proper fire suppression equipment must be available on the construction site
- Flammable and combustible liquids must be stored properly
4. Safe Walking and Working Areas
Codes 408.42130-408.42159 dictate that employers in Michigan are obligated to provide safe working and walking areas for their employees.
First and foremost, all employees should be trained on what makes an area safe for working or walking. Additionally, there are specific legal requirements for:
- Guardrails on catch platforms and scaffolding
- Runways and ramps
- Temporary stairways
5. Hazard Communication and Personal Protection
Section 11 of the Michigan Health and Safety Act 154 Amendments requires employers in Michigan to clearly communicate workplace hazards to all of their employees who would otherwise be at risk. Employees must supply personal protection equipment and post signs or warnings wherever they’re needed to ensure the workplace meets safety and health standards.
All reasonable precautions must be taken, and everyone on the jobsite should know how to manage the risks around them. Safety and health training is paramount for workers to be able to do this.
6. Handling and Processing Dangerous Chemicals
LARA provides an extensive list of hazardous substances in Code 1926.64 Appendix A. Employers are obligated to provide adequate protection from and handling procedures for all such substances to ensure occupational safety and health.
If you have been affected by a workplace violation of code, you are entitled to seek legal help. Contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. with any questions you may have on 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) and for a no obligation case evaluation.