Working in construction can be an extremely dangerous occupation. Job sites are full of potential hazards that can cause injury or even death.
Being aware of the dangers as well as prevention strategies is the first step in protecting yourself on the job site. In case of an injury, you have the right to seek legal counsel to ensure that your medical and financial interests are protected.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor provides a worker safety series that addresses hazards and solutions on construction sites.
According to OSHA, there are approximately 6.5 million people working at a minimum of 252,000 construction sites every day in the U.S. The construction industry, on average, has a higher fatal injury rate than any other industry.
General hazards in construction
Some of the hazards you might encounter on a job site include falling from heights, trenches and scaffolding collapsing, electric shock, improper use of safety gear and even injuries caused by repetitive motions. Misuse of ladders is also one of the top causes of injuries on construction sites.
Protection basics on the site
There are things you can do on the job site to limit the possibility of injury on the job. For example, when using scaffolding, make sure it is properly erected and unstable items like barrels, boxes or loose bricks are not being used as support.
If you are working from a significant height, be sure to use a restraint system, aerial lifts, guardrails, or elevated platforms to have a safer work space. Also, make sure holes are securely covered.
When using a ladder, be sure it is the correct ladder for the task you are doing. It should not only be long enough, but be set in a level location to prevent rocking or sliding of the feet. Be sure there are no missing rungs, structural damage or broken safety devices.
Trenches that collapse have caused multiple fatalities and hundreds of injuries every year. Always wear protection when entering a trench. Be sure that trenches 20 feet or deeper have been fitted with a protective system designed by a professional engineer. After a rainstorm or any other damage-causing event, do not enter the trench until it has been inspected and cleared for entry.
Suffering a workplace accident can lead to high medical bills and a loss of wages. For advice on handling an injury suffered on the job, contact an attorney experienced with personal injury claims.