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Construction site safety must be a priority for everyone

Construction sites are dangerous places for workers, not only because of the heavy equipment but also due to the number of workers that it takes to get the job done. Companies that oversee these projects must take appropriate steps to reduce the chance of a worker suffering an injury while they're on the job.

There are four specific types of incidents that lead to the majority of deaths, just over 58%, in this industry. By curtailing these four reasons, employers could prevent around 591 worker deaths and even more injuries each year. From the most serious to the least, there four include:

  • Falling: 33.5% of deaths
  • Being struck by an object: 11.1% of deaths
  • Being electrocuted: 8.5% of deaths
  • Being caught in or between objects: 5.5% of deaths

Proper protocol can improve safety

Employers must establish proper protocol to help keep their workers safe. This includes having written policies, as well as showing employees the way to do things. Even if a company has a group of workers who have been with the business for a long time, there is no reason to forego basic safety training. Refresher courses can help to keep everyone safe, even if they have worked for the company for a while.

When considering safety protocol, current Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines must be considered. These are meant to help keep workers safe and failing to comply with them can lead to penalties for the business.

Examples of protocol that can help

Even small changes in how things are done can make a significant difference with worker safety. Covering or marking openings in the floor can prevent workers from falling into holes. Using fall arrest devices can stop people from hitting the ground if they fall from a height. Ensuring ladders and scaffolds are in good condition, properly erected and used appropriately can reduce the chance of a fall happening.

Using brightly colored items to make workers easier to see and having spotters for heavy equipment can stop people from getting struck. Load, tool and equipment securement procedures can prevent anyone from being struck by these items.

Lockout/tagout procedures, staying away from electrical lines and using ground-fault circuit interrupters can reduce the chance of electrocutions. Maintaining and inspecting power tools can help people to avoid being electrocuted while using them.

Shoring up trenches and excavation sites can prevent cave-in situations. Using machine guard and making sure that all machinery is on stable foundation can also help to prevent people from being caught in or between them if they shift.

Workers who suffer an injury and the family members of those who are killed in a work-related incident might opt to pursue compensation. The method for doing this, which may include third-party lawsuits, depends on the circumstances of the event, so be sure to find out your options if you're in this tragic situation.

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