Construction projects are quite important for maintaining and reforming our infrastructure and roadways. However, construction site workers are exposed to a high risk of accidents due to perilous working conditions. They are required to use heavy tools and machinery, work at dangerous heights, and in radioactive or hazardous environments. According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, workplace fatalities increased by 11% between 2018 and 2019, and most of these accidents involved vehicle crashes in construction zones. If you work at a construction site and want to take the right measures to protect yourself, follow these essential steps.
Causes Of Construction Zone Accidents
Work zone accidents may be a result of drivers speeding or making sudden lane shifts while passing by the construction zone. When there are unexpected lane shifts, vehicles often swerve to avoid collisions, and this leads to more accidents near construction sites. Large trucks are less stable which can cause them to lose balance and sway away from the road, causing cargo spills. Cargo spills and road accidents expose workers to dangerous hazards at work. According to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, there were approximately 18,000 truck accidents in construction areas, and 228 fatalities in 2018 as a result of these construction site crashes. Construction site accidents may also involve:
-Falling from heights
-Lifting heavy objects and straining the spine in the process
-Slipping when working on uneven or slippery surfaces
-Tripping over objects or cables
-Being distracted by loud noise and losing focus
-Electric shocks when handling live wires
Report As Soon As Possible
You need to report the accident to the employer as soon as it occurs. Take photos of your injury and the damage caused and show them to your employer. This can aid you in court and can help document the accident scene before the evidence is lost.
Seek Legal Assistance
Contacting a professional attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve and protect your rights. A lawyer will provide support and guide you through the legal process after a workplace accident occurs. If you’ve been injured in a work zone accident, you deserve proper compensation for your losses and injuries. For instance, in a highway construction zone accident, the driver or trucking company should be held liable. A lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and make claims against the other party’s insurance company.
Make Sure Your Employer Is Following Health and Safety Law
Your employer should also be held responsible for the safety of their workers during construction projects. They have to take protective measures that include:
-Putting up a warning sign with bright flaggers to alarm drivers that this is a designated work zone
-Alerting drivers when there’s a lane shift near the work zone
-Placing barriers between the road and construction area
-Using lights to divert vehicles and trucks away from the work zone
-Safe-proofing the work area
-Providing safety gear
-Training employees to follow all safety procedures
If they fail to foster adequate health and safety conditions on construction sites, they should also be questioned and held liable. Work accident attorneys assist workers in recovering maximum compensation for their losses including lost wages, medical bills, physiotherapy, etc.
Wear Your Protective Gear At All Times
Workers should wear their protective gear at all times when they’re working in construction zones. Make sure your safety boots are high enough and provide the perfect grip to guard your feet. Never forget to wear a hard hat to protect your skull, as well as vests that are made of non-conducting materials. Eye and face protection should be worn all day to avoid harmful chemicals, poisonous gases, vapors, debris, loose particles, and metal from entering your eyes and causing serious injuries and infections when you’re chipping or welding materials.
Avoid Unfamiliar Tools
To reduce the chances of accidents, don’t work with equipment that you haven’t used before. If a machine isn’t working, don’t try to fix it or tamper with it. Only use the tools that you were trained to use because a single mistake can cost you a lot. If you choose to handle unfamiliar tools and something goes wrong, your employer may claim that you are the one responsible for the accident, and can refuse to offer any compensation.
Working in construction zones can be dangerous and stressful. It is of utmost importance that you avoid all potential hazards and learn how to prevent them. You also need to know your rights at work, and that you should be protected. If you keep these steps in mind and follow all safety precautions, you will be at a much lower risk of accidents and injuries.