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OSHA Provides Common-Sense Practices for Construction Accident Prevention

Feb 13, 2015 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the construction industry’s fatal injury rate is higher than the national average within other industries. It may be impossible to completely prevent accidental injury construction site accidents. However, our workers’ compensation attorneys believe that construction worker training should focus on safe practices as much as it focuses on job skills.

The Basics of Construction Zone Safety

Even seasoned construction workers should regularly review the basic rules of safe practices while working in their dangerous profession. OSHA provides an online Worker Safety Series for a range of industries. Their tips for construction workers are worthy of regular review, including tips such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • Scaffolding: Most tips apply to the safety of the actual scaffold construction, providing specifications on weight tolerance and railing requirements, as well as the need for regular inspections. Workers need certain fall-protection training and operations such as erecting, moving, dismantling or altering scaffolds should be performed only under the supervision of a “competent person.”
  • Fall protection: Considering that falls account for the greatest number of construction-related fatalities each year, OSHA recommends the use of aerial lifts or elevated platforms that are safer to use when working at great heights. They also suggest using specific types of guardrails and making sure holes are covered. In the event of a fall, effective backup plans include the use of safety nets or some form of body harnesses.
  • Ladders: Always choose a ladder long enough for the job and strong enough to support the weight of the worker and materials. Ladders need to be inspected frequently, and those found to be defective need to be clearly marked or destroyed immediately. Of course, workers should avoid using metal ladders near electrical work or power lines.

Our skilled Tuscaloosa lawyers have seen the often-devastating results of construction accidents, including permanent disability and fatalities. We advise construction workers to make use of the detailed safety checklist on the OSHA website to remind them of the full list of protective measures they need to take every day.

In the Event of Injury, Construction Workers Should Seek Knowledgeable Legal Advice

Even construction workers who take a wrong step or otherwise contribute to their own injuries can expect coverage under the Alabama workers’ compensation insurance their employers are required to carry. With very few exceptions, this insurance should pay claims regardless of fault by either the employer or employee. The good news is that initiating a claim is as easy as notifying your supervisor, boss or employer, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

It is important to understand, however, that many tasks involve equipment or support from outside parties. In many cases, injuries at construction sites are often caused by defective equipment or other types of third-party negligence. Workers may have the right to pursue additional compensation from outside parties in these cases. It costs nothing to seek advice from our experienced Tuscaloosa workers’ compensation lawyers to make sure no justified compensation is left behind.

Additional Resources:

Commonly Used Statistics, United States Department of Labor

Other Blog Topics:

Alabama Construction Falls a Deadly Reality Tuscaloosa Construction Accidents Blog

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