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Construction work is a dangerous occupation involving great risk of injuries. The authorities, especially the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has enforced strict guidelines to minimize all types of construction injuries. However, accidents do happen at building sites forcing workers to engage construction litigation lawyers for claiming compensation. Prevention is always better than cure and it will be pertinent that people working in this industry are aware of the mishaps that frequently occur at construction locations. This will help them in avoiding possibly hazardous situations and completing their work safely. Getting hurt can not only cause severe bodily harm but at times can disable people for life robbing them of the chance of earning a livelihood easily. Following is a list of the most common hazards that can happen in building zones:
1. Fall Injury
The most common accidents at construction sites are caused by slips and falls. People working at such locations are always prone to falling from roofs, scaffolding, ladders or other heights. Falling can cause severe damage to a person’s body and there are strict rules that employers must follow to prevent such occurrences. Workers must wear protective clothing along with hardhats, safety shoes, and glasses. Safety equipment which can minimize damage to the body like guardrails, safety nets, and stop systems must be installed by the employer. This can protect the workforce from serious head and neck injuries. It is the responsibility of the company undertaking the work to train the staff about all the safety measures that need to be followed.
2. Machinery Accidents
It is impossible to erect buildings without heavy machinery but the huge weight of these pieces of equipment poses a potential danger to the people working with and around them. A person can get crushed under a falling machine or get grievously hurt by a malfunctioning device. It is not that only large pieces of equipment can cause serious damage. Even small instruments like a misfiring nail gun can seriously hurt a worker. Take care to know the position of all heavy machinery and keep a distance from gadgets with rotating pieces. Always wear protective safety gear while handling such apparatus.
3. Electrocution Hazard
Electric power is an important resource for building any kind of structure. Almost every major equipment runs on power either from a traditional electrical source or fuel-run generators. This exposes the workforce to the hazards of electrocution which can cause burns, muscle and nerve damage, and even cardiac arrest in some cases. There is a range of reasons which can trigger such an accident. They can be initiated by faulty wiring or other related material. In many cases, such accidents happen because of the careless attitude of the employer. Never handle electrical equipment without appropriate insulated protective gear and ensure that the gadget is deactivated before approaching it. If a mishap occurs because of the negligence of the construction company, the affected party can through a construction litigation attorney file for compensation.
4. Accidents Caused By Falling Objects
One of the most common types of construction injuries in building zones is caused by falling objects. People can get seriously hurt when struck by machines, tools or building material like bricks and rods. In extreme cases, such injuries can be fatal and employees must take precautions to avoid them. They must never enter the work zone without wearing appropriate safety gear including hardhats and glasses. It is the duty of the person or agency managing the site to ensure that all material and machines are stored in a manner that no falling piles are formed. They must also make certain that all objects being moved by crane or other such machines are fastened securely. Workers must also be alert to their surroundings and keep a distance from suspended loads.
5. Vehicular Accidents
Construction zones are visited by various kinds of vehicles like trucks, dumpers, mixers, cranes, etc. Such workplaces can also witness vehicle-related accidents. People can get hit or run over by a moving vehicle. A major cause of such mishaps is that the driving car of most construction-related vehicles is situated at a height which makes the driver unable to see things at the ground level. Transportation accidents can be avoided by creating a route for the movement of vehicles that clearly segregates people and vehicles. Proper signs for direction, speed limit, and vehicular priority must be put up along the entire route. Orientation program for drivers as well as other staff members to educate them about the standard procedure for movement will also be helpful.
6. Trench And Building Collapse
One of the most serious and often fatal injuries is caused by trench or building collapses. Trenches are narrow, underground depressions which when collapse can cause people to be buried alive. Similarly, a building which is being demolished can fall down suddenly and crush workers. Even under construction structures can topple due to various reasons, putting the life of persons working on them in danger. OSHA has specified clear rules for trenching activities which state that heavy machinery must be away from the site. The trenches must be checked before the beginning of each shift and after rainstorms. They must also be inspected for the presence of toxic gases or low oxygen levels. Building contractors and companies must follow the standard procedure while erecting a structure to make sure that no unfortunate incident takes place.
It is the responsibility of the employer to create a safe working environment for the workers. However, workers must be aware of these different types of construction injuries so that they can be cautious and avoid any hazardous situations.
By – Law Offices Of Steve Newman
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