Are You a Victim of Construction’s “Fatal Four”?
Construction workers perform a physically demanding job that often requires working from great heights and using dangerous tools. In 2012, 20 percent of all workplace fatalities were in the construction industry.
What Dangers Do Construction Workers Face?
To help workers stay safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined the four workplace hazards most likely to cause injuries or death:
Falls cause 35 percent of construction worker deaths, more than any other workplace hazard. Workers can fall through unprotected skylights and wall openings, or from ladders and scaffolding.
OSHA mandates that all workers have fall protection if they are working from a height of six feet or higher. Options include guardrails, fall arrest harnesses, safety nets and many others. OSHA believes fall protection could save up to 400 construction workers a year.
Faulty power cords, inadequate grounding and improper use of equipment can expose workers to damaging electrical shocks and burns.
Workers should always wear mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE) when working around electrical hazards. Employers should be sure to inform workers of electrical risks on site to avoid accidents
Being Struck by an Object
Workers can be injured when they collide with a moving object, like forklifts or falling loads. Tools falling from any height can cause broken bones and lacerations if they strike a worker on a lower level.
Management should maintain a “drop zone,” and keep the area clear when work is being performed overhead. Toeboard protections can keep tools from falling onto lower levels.
Being Caught In/Between an Object
Similar to a “struck-by” injury, caught in/between hazards occur when an employee is pinned between a moving object (like a vehicle or a conveyor belt) and a stationary object (a wall or floor). These can cause life-changing crush injuries, lacerations and even amputations.
Most of these accidents can be minimized with the right safety equipment and training, but many employers still choose to cut corners. OSHA tries to monitor businesses and punish violators, but they can only do so much.
In the workplace, your health and safety is your employer’s responsibility. If your employer is endangering your health to increase profit, Larrimer & Larrimer is here to fight for you. Call today to discuss your workers’ comp claim with one of our licensed attorneys.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys