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One of the biggest dangers on any construction site: Deadlines

You know that your boss signed a contract when he or she took the latest construction job. All of the workers learned what the projected timeframe was when you started the job. You all know the schedule. You all know the deadline.

Did you know that that deadline can also become one of the biggest hazards to your health?

Falling behind

As the job goes on, you can tell that you're never going to get done in time. You ran into some delays with the supply lines that you couldn't avoid. You found issues with the project that you had to go back and correct, setting your team back a few days.

That deadline was tight to start with. You knew you'd have a tough time hitting it. These delays mean there is almost no hope at all. You know it. Your team knows it.

The only person who does not want to hear it is your boss.

The wrong mindset

Safety experts warn that falling behind can push supervisors into the wrong mindset, where they value the deadline above all else. They encourage workers to rush. They overlook people who cut corners. They may not say it, but they put pressure on the workers to get things done as fast as they can, even when it's not safe.

For example, perhaps you have to finish a small area on the roof that was supposed to get done two days ago. It's an easy job and it should only take 10 minutes.

You know you should wear fall protection gear. It doesn't matter how long you will be on the roof. One slip could send you falling 20 feet to the ground.

As you start to put on the gear, your boss walks by and raises an eyebrow. "We need this done yesterday," he tells you, looking at the safety gear. "How long is that going to take?"

Suddenly, you feel like you are in the wrong for putting on that gear. You decide not to use it, and your boss nods approvingly as you clamber up onto the roof. Five minutes later, you slip and fall to the ground below. You're lucky just to survive at that distance, but you break both of your legs and wind up in the hospital.

Money versus safety

This is just one example, but it shows how rushing and the pressure it puts on workers can force them into dangerous situations. You may even have a boss tell you explicitly not to work in a safe manner because it takes too long. The company is thinking about deadlines, money and the bottom line. Does your safety become expendable?

If you do get hurt on the job, make sure you know all of the legal options you have.

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