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What Should Construction Workers Do to Stay Safe on the Job?
The construction industry is a vital one but it's also one of the most hazardous for people working within it. In private building projects in 2018 alone, approximately 955 workers lost their lives while working in the industry (a fifth of all fatalities across all industries).
The most common causes resulted from accidental falls, an object impacting them, electrocutions, and getting stuck between or caught in between two objects. These account for over half of the cases within the construction industry in the period from 2017-2018.
How can construction workers protect themselves and what rights do they have should something bad happen?Wear Protective Gear at all Times
Per OSHA regulations, it's necessary for all workers on a construction site to wear protective gear. This is a standard that must be observed at all times. Failing to do so is a major cause of concern and can increase the severity of an injury. Also, not wearing reflective clothing doesn't allow other people working in the area such as truck delivery drivers and crane operators to see people in their path, especially in poorly lit areas.Observe Regular Work Practices to Spot Unsafe Ones
For people who've worked in the construction industry for many years, they can often spot a site that's being poorly managed. Even when everyone on site is wearing the right protective gear, failing to have solid safety practices in place leads to unnecessary and avoidable accidents/injuries on the site.
For example, it's possible to have someone in a trench making last-minute adjustments to laid pipes while a digger operator isn't aware of their presence. This can lead to their filling in the trench, which was the next task on the list to be accomplished. Not knowing that a co-worker was down there (and not being able to see them from their vantage point), the operator can drop material onto the construction worker knocking them out and burying them at the same time.
With poor awareness among workers about what different members of the crew are working on, improperly lit work areas, and limited communications, accidents happen, including fatal ones.Report Unsafe Practices to Improve On-site Safety
You also want to develop a friendly relationship with the on-site manager. This open line of communication may prove useful if you spot unsafe practices that put workers' lives at risk. Given the use of heavy machinery and overhead obstacles, even one small mistake can lead to serious injuries or worse. A responsible site manager is receptive to places where site safety can be improved upon.What Should You Do If You've Already Been Injured?
All accidents and injuries should be taken seriously. A worker's compensation for a construction injury claim should reflect the injury, the cost of medical care, lost earnings, and another impact. Not every construction company will provide suitable compensation – they may treat injuries as part and parcel of an employee choosing to work in the construction industry.
In which case, it's sensible to choose an attorney to provide guidance and legal representation. New York personal injury attorneys Hill & Moin have an experienced team of professional lawyers well-equipped to handle construction-related cases.
Staying safe on the job is a given for most employees. But for construction workers, it's a daily hazard with accidents being a regular reminder of the risks involved. Do all you can to avoid becoming the next statistic.