Pennsylvania construction workers should know the most common hazards in their industry. Though construction workers make up 6 percent of the population, construction fatalities actually account for over 20 percent of all private sector employee deaths. Falls are the first of five leading causes of death in the construction industry.
Falls can be avoided if employers provide the right protective equipment, such as hard hats and non-slip boots, and follow the fall prevention guidelines by installing guardrails and safety nets. With proper training, employees could also avoid accidents on ladders and scaffolding. The second leading cause of death is “struck by incidents.” Workers can avoid being struck by forklifts and other vehicles if there are clear vehicle routes.
To avoid the third hazard, electrical risks, employees should be trained to locate and identify utilities before starting a job. Employers could supply ground-fault circuit interrupters as well as portable tools that are properly grounded or double insulated. The fourth hazard, caught-in-between incidents, is usually linked with collapsing trenches. Trenches 5 feet or deeper should have adequate safety procedures and trench wall support.
Hazardous materials are the last danger. Some are breathed in and affect respiration while others can burn workers in the wake of a spill. Such materials should be listed on material safety data sheets for employees to refer to.
Even with the most up-to-date workplace safety guidelines, employees can still get injured on the job. In such cases, a victim could be covered for their losses by filing for workers’ compensation. A lawyer could provide valuable guidance throughout the filing process. Legal counsel could also assist with an appeal.