Construction workers face a number of hazards in the workplace, which could cause accidents that result in serious occupational injuries or deaths.
There is some level of risk of suffering occupational injuries and illnesses in nearly every profession and field throughout Texas, and elsewhere. For some, however, the danger may be greater. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, the construction industry has a higher average fatal injury rate than that of all other industries. This is, in large part, due to the hazards that construction workers face in the workplace.
According to an NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth report, two workers were killed in separate incidents on the same construction site in Argyle recently. A 36-year-old worker died following the collapse of a metal frame for an indoor practice facility. Less than a week later, a 22-year-old man was killed in an accident involving an 18-wheeler. Although details have not been confirmed, it appears that his foot became trapped underneath the large vehicle’s rear axle as it was being driven. Unfortunately, these are just two of the many work-related deaths that occur on construction sites each year.
Common construction site hazards
Although there are strict regulations in place, construction sites can be hazardous work environments. According to OSHA, some of the most common dangers construction workers face on the job include the following:
- Scaffolding and trench collapses
- Electric shock
- Falls from significant heights
- Getting stuck in or struck by equipment
- Neglecting to use the appropriate personal protective equipment
Furthermore, using tools, such as jackhammers, and performing certain tasks may result in repetitive motion injuries for construction workers.
How can work-related injuries and deaths be prevented?
While some construction accidents are unavoidable, there are steps that people can take to reduce their risk for injury while working at construction sites. Construction workers may prevent falls by using the correct personal protection equipment, as well as by using scaffolds and ladders safely. Furthermore, covering, securing and labeling floor openings may also help prevent workers from falling. OSHA points out that locating utilities and being alert to electrical hazards can help people avoid electric shocks while working at construction sites.
In addition to wearing the proper personal protection equipment, construction workers should also wear high-visibility clothing. This may help them avoid getting struck by equipment or vehicles at the worksite. Additionally, avoiding positioning themselves in between moving or fixed objects may aid in preventing struck by equipment accidents. Construction workers should also ensure that trenches and excavation sites have the proper protective systems in place before entering them.
Working with an attorney
When construction workers in Texas are injured on the job, they are generally entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, however, navigating the state’s workers’ compensation process may be difficult. As such, those who have suffered occupational injuries may benefit from consulting with an attorney. A lawyer may explain their rights, as well as help guide them through the claims filing process.