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5 steps to insure safety at the construction site

Construction workers in North Carolina and throughout the country are important to the nation's economy. Because many operate dangerous machinery and work in hard-to-reach places, the risk of accidents is great. In fact, about 150,000 construction accidents occur annually, with 824 construction-related deaths taking place in 2013, according to a recent report.

Employers should regularly inspect their machines to make sure they are in good working condition. Machine-related accidents at the workplace account for almost 15 percent of workplace fatalities and about a third of job-related injuries. Construction employers should insure that their employees are adequately trained in the use of all the equipment. Workers need to be familiarized on how to use new and advanced machinery, not only for their own safety, but for the safety of other workers, as well.

Construction workers and their supervisors must always be on guard for any potential dangers. Work involving excavating, electricity and heavy machinery has led to many workplace injuries. Anytime employees are working atop scaffolding or from heights, the danger of falls is very real. Supervisors can regularly emphasize safety procedures and policies to avoid work-related injuries from happening. Whenever a deadline looms near, construction workers and their employers must still try to use caution and stay focused. Over-confidence and haste could lead to a serious accident that could turn deadly. Lastly, good communication skills should exist among coworkers and employers with supervisors regularly reminding workers to use correct safety measures.

Immediately following a work accident, the injured worker should inform the employer so that the process of filing a workers' compensation claim can begin. In cases where a non-employer third party caused the accident, an attorney might assist the client in recovering the full amount of benefits he or she is owed.

Source: EHS Today, "5 Tips to Safely Operate Heavy Machinery", James White, November 20, 2014

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