Smith, Feddeler & Smith, P.A.

Beware of construction hazards when you are working

Hazards present at construction sites are very serious and can kill or cause significant injuries. It is imperative that construction workers keep an eye out for these hazards and that employers take a proactive stance to address them. Without both approaches, workers can have accidents with horrifying outcomes.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) keeps track of on-the-job injuries and accidents. Here are some points to remember based on the information OSHA has gathered for the construction industry.

Safety protocol is important

The safety protocol that a construction company sets up is important. Employers need to establish protocol and provide personal protective equipment that can help to keep workers safe. Procedures like lock-out, tag-out and buddy systems can facilitate the safety of everyone at the job site. Hard hats, reflective safety clothing, steel toe shoes, gloves and similar equipment can help to prevent accident.

It isn't enough to set up the protocol for the job site. There must be a program in place to ensure that the protocol is followed at all times. Leaving workers to their own devices might mean that one unsafe worker can endanger other workers who are doing things safely.

4 most common deadly accidents

OSHA notes that there are four types of accidents that are considered the most deadly for the construction industry. These are deemed the Fatal Four. At the top of the list, by a wide margin, is falls. These include falls from scaffolds and other structures. Being struck by an object comes in second place. Electrocutions come in third and being caught between or by objects rounds out the Fatal Four. If these four issues were corrected, the majority of fatal construction accidents could be prevented.

Steps to take if you are injured

If you are injured on the job site, you should make a formal report of the accident. This should be done as soon as possible and in accordance with your employer's established protocol. It is a good idea to seek medical care for your injuries. You can't be expected to cover the costs of obtaining this care. Workers' compensation coverage will likely cover these expenses, so make sure you find out where to seek medical care. You also need to get your workers' compensation claim filed. This is necessary for the medical care costs, but also because you might need to file for monetary benefits if you aren't able to work while your injuries heal.

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