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Construction jobs have a higher than average risk for fatal injuries. The almost 6.5 million construction workers on the job each and every day are at risk of many different hazards on the job. It is up to the employers to take steps to ensure that these men and women remain as safe as possible.

Some of the hazards are obvious. These include falls and scaffolding collapses. Even being run over by equipment would be an obvious hazard. Electrocution, arc flashes and similar hazards also fall into this category.

There are also some less obvious hazards like repetitive motion injuries that can impact people in this industry. Another is the risk associated with certain chemical exposures at construction sites.

Many of the hazards at these construction sites can be controlled by using proper safety techniques. Forklifts and other heavy machinery shouldn't be operated by anyone who isn't properly trained or anyone who is under 18 years old. Using spotters to help ensure nobody gets run over can also help in these cases.

Another way to minimize the risk of injuries due to hazards is to use proper safety equipment. Hard hats for head protection, rebreather for airway protection, safety glasses for eye protection, steel-toed boots for foot protection, gloves for hand protection and similar items can go a long way toward safety.

Inspecting all machinery and devices used at the site, as well as looking over safety equipment can also help keep workers safe. When a worker is injured on the job, the policies, procedures and safety equipment are some of the first things that might be reviewed.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Worker Safety Series Construction," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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