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Construction workers are at risk of serious injuries

By nature, construction sites are hazardous. This is partially because of the risk that comes with working near heavy equipment and the other objects necessary to build structures. People who work in this industry should be provided with tools and knowledge that enables them to work safely despite the hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific standards that must be met or exceeded at construction sites. When contractors and others don't meet make this happen, the workers can suffer serious or fatal injuries.

The Fatal Four

There are four types of accidents at construction sites that account for the majority of deaths. These are dubbed the Fatal Four. Eliminating these hazards could prevent 602 deaths in the construction industry each year. While this might not seem like a huge reduction, it does mean that more workers could make it home safely at the end of their shifts.

Falls are on the top of the Fatal Four list and account for more than 38 percent of all construction fatalities. Being struck by an object comes in next with more than 9 percent of fatalities. Electrocutions are third with more than 8 percent of fatalities. Being caught in or between objects at the site rounds out the fatal four with just over 7 percent of fatalities being caused by this type of accident.

Preventing the Fatal Four

Scaffolding is one of the hazards that can lead to a construction worker falling to his or her death. Since falls are the leading cause of death for these workers, it is no surprise that New York's Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, provides important protection for workers. This law places liability for maintaining safety standards regarding scaffolding on the contractors and property owners.

Watching for sources of electricity in the work zone can prevent electrocutions. Using spotters and having protocol for moving large objects and heavy equipment can minimize the risk of workers being struck by things or caught in or between them. Wearing hardhats and brightly colored clothing can also improve safety at construction sites.

Construction workers who are injured in accidents at work, regardless of their legal status in the United States, should understand that they shouldn't have to deal the atrocities of these injuries. Filing claims for compensation, including third-party compensation claims, can reduce the financial impact that these on-the-job accidents have on workers.

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