How to Minimize Risks in Construction Sites

Published: 17th July 2009
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The construction site is obviously one of the most accident-prone places. The presence of machines, equipment and materials, and the activity of men make it an inherently risky place. In some cases, accidents also occur when harmful chemicals or substances come in contact with equipment that can lead to fires or explosions.

According to Department and Labor statistics, construction accidents occur more frequently than many believed. Some of the most common injuries include sprains, bruises, cuts strains, contusions, lacerations, heat burns, amputations, carpal tunnel syndrome, fractures, and tendonitis.

While most of these injuries are not fatal, they can lead to long-term unemployment or a disability condition such as spinal cord injury, severe burn, and in worst cases, death. With these, the victims are entitled to file their legal actions with the help of their construction liability attorneys.

The real estate boom, which gave rise to the construction of residential homes, commercial buildings, and roads, has also contributed to the incidental increase in the number of accidents and resulting injuries in the past years.

Particularly in Los Angeles and other areas in California, the following construction accidents commonly occur:

• Falls from ladders, roofs and scaffolding
• Injuries caused by falling debris or materials
• Scaffolding collapse accidents
• Falling material or debris
• Accidents caused by contact with electrical wires
• Open trenches
• Nail gun accidents and puncture injuries
• Forklift and crane accidents
• Delivery truck accidents
• Injuries to pedestrians

Some accidents may be preventable. In construction sites, the wearing of hard hats and other protective clothing are required as part of safety measures. And despite strict safety laws, thousands are still injured or get killed due to construction site accidents.

Nevertheless, to minimize the risk of accident in the construction site, here are important things to consider:

1. Develop a formal, written accident prevention program - An accident prevention program must suit the needs of your particular workplace or operation and to the types of hazards involved. This is an outline of your safety and health plan or an injury prevention program.
2. Make sure your accident prevention program has the following elements:

• A description of your total safety and health program
• How to report unsafe conditions, hazards and practices
• The use and care of required personal protective equipment (PPE)
• How to exit the workplace during emergencies
• Identification of hazardous gases, chemicals, or materials used and instruction about its safe use
• Emergency action to take after accidental exposure to substances or chemicals

3. Develop and supervise the implementation of your safety and health training programs to make it effective in practice

4. Enforce the training program to improve the employees' skill, awareness, and competency in the occupational safety and health.

5. Train workers and employees before being assigned to their job, which may also include on-the-job safety instructions on the use of the following:

• Powered materials-handling equipment such as forklifts, backhoes, etc.
• machine tool operations
• How to handle toxic materials
• The use and operation of utility systems

However, in most cases, accidents are caused by violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA). And under California law, a violation of safety law can be used as evidence of negligence in construction site accident cases.

If you were injured in a construction site accident in Los Angeles, for instance, and you need to claim for your injuries, it is very vital for you to seek the aid of an attorney to support your in filing a lawsuit.

To pursue claims for construction liability, get help from our skilled construction accident attorneys. Visit our website and avail of our free case consultation.

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