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Common construction workers' accidents are preventable

Construction sites in Ohio are dangerous places. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the top four causes of construction workers' accidents are preventable. They are caused by falls, struck-by hazards, caught-in or between accidents and electrocutions.

Falls can be prevented by taking precautions such as wearing protection to arrest falls, ensuring the safe use of scaffolds and ladders and making sure perimeter protection is installed and maintained. Also, floor and roof openings must be securely covered and marked or labeled. Wearing highly visible clothes near mechanical equipment and vehicles can prevent struck-by injuries. However, the views of these operators are often obscured, and workers at ground level must make sure they are not positioned between fixed and moving objects.

All utilities and overhead power lines must be located and identified before any project commences to prevent electrocutions. Steer clear of these hazards when using scaffolds, ladders and platforms, and do not operate equipment near power lines or utilities. All portable electric tools must be double insulated and grounded, and ground-fault circuit interrupters can provide further protection.

Trenches pose significant caught-in or caught-between hazards, and workers must never enter excavations or trenches that are not protected in compliance with OSHA regulations. Trenches without shoring, trench boxes, benching or sloping can collapse in the blink of an eye. Sadly, many employers prioritize profit over employee safety, allowing continued occurrences of preventable construction workers' accidents. Fortunately, injured workers can rely on the Ohio workers' compensation insurance program to provide benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages, and legal counsel can assist with the navigation of benefits claims.

Source: osha.gov, "Top Four Construction Hazards", Accessed on May 18, 2018

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