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The fatal hazards faced by construction workers

Many safety regulations apply to construction sites in North Carolina because of the dangerous nature of the work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has calculated that 20 percent of workplace deaths happen at construction sites. The four major sources of injuries and fatalities are falls, electrocution, being hit by objects, and being caught in or between equipment or objects.

Falls account for the majority of construction fatalities at approximately 39 percent. To protect workers, employers must identify hazards and follow safety guidelines. All holes in floors or the ground must be guarded or covered. Workers should have fall protection gear when necessary and trained in its proper use. Employers should regularly confirm the stability of ladders and scaffolds.

Electrocution poses another common hazard. Work crews need to locate power lines and maintain a safe distance of at least 10 feet. Falling objects that hit people claim lives as well. Protective canopies are effective at shielding workers. Another relatively simple safety technique involves workers hoisting tools after they have ascended a platform. When moving loads, workers need to observe load limits to prevent breakaways. Many accidents that arise from getting caught in or between objects involve heavy equipment. Thorough training of equipment operators is recommended.

Victims of construction site injuries often miss work and require medical treatment. Workers' compensation insurance provided by employers does not require proof of any negligence for a worker to collect benefits, but employers sometimes discourage people from filing claims. Someone who is encountering barriers could ask an attorney for assistance.

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