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Construction workers' accidents: Preventing fires is essential

Construction sites are known to be minefields of life-threatening hazards, one of which is the danger of fires. Too many construction workers' accidents that involve fires have claimed the lives of workers nationwide, including Pennsylvania. However, safety authorities say most occupational injuries and fatalities could have been avoided had safety regulations been followed.

Safety measures include adequate training and supervision, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and having the necessary lockout/tagout devices on tools and machines to de-energize power supply during maintenance and cleaning. These measures may prevent electrical fires. Also essential are sufficient fire exits and clear signs to indicate their locations.  Fire extinguishers to suit the work done in every area must be readily available.

Good housekeeping can reduce the chances of fires on the construction site. Waste and debris can cause hazards, and combustible liquids must be stored properly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides guidelines that address fire prevention, and while it is important for all employees to know these rules, they must also learn what to do in the event of a fire on the construction site.

Safety authorities say common sense and compliance with safety regulations may prevent most construction workers' accidents. However, employee safety is not prioritized by all construction company owners in Pennsylvania, and victims of on-the-job injuries may have to cope with the financial consequences of hospitalization and time off work. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can play a helpful role in the administrative and legal proceedings when filing claims for benefits that will likely cover those expenses.

Source: solutions.borderstates.com, "How to Reduce Fire Risk on Construction Sites", Accessed on Dec. 20, 2017

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