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Preventing these 4 common construction workers' accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides regulations for every industry here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States. The federal agency also identifies the most common sources of injury for many industries and offers tips on preventing them. Below are the four most common construction workers' accidents and tips to avoid them.

Nearly every construction worker can attest to the fact that falling is a major concern. Perimeter protection and personal fall arrest equipment help prevent falls, but they might not be enough. Workers should use care when on scaffolds and ladders. Floor openings should be covered and secured, and the covers need labeling for ease of identification.

Workers are also at risk of colliding with both fixed and moving objects. Wearing clothes that provide high visibility around vehicles and equipment helps avoid this type of accident. A similar danger comes from being pinned by or caught in equipment, vehicles or structures -- especially trenches. Trenches require protective systems to prevent collapse. Workers should never enter an unprotected trench. 

Finally, electrocutions happen far too often. Overhead power lines and utilities need to be located prior to beginning work, and workers should use caution when using equipment and working around them. Remain within a safe distance, make sure tools are double insulated or grounded and use ground-fault circuit interrupters. Electrical equipment is also used on or near scaffolds, ladders and other platforms, so workers need to extra vigilant.

Of course, no matter how prepared workers are, accidents and injuries still happen. Workers' compensation benefits are available after construction workers' accidents to help with medical expenses, lost wages and other financial losses incurred during recovery. Going through the process of obtaining those benefits alone could cause a great deal of stress and frustration that could interfere with a Pennsylvania resident's recovery. Consulting an attorney to help with the process could return the focus where it ought to be -- on recovery.

Source: osha.gov, "Top Four Construction Hazards", Accessed on Jan. 14, 2017

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