Preventing Construction Accidents

Posted on June 30, 2011 at 2:40pm by

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,551 fatal work injuries were reported in 2009, of which 605 were due to a fall. In 2009, over 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace were reported, including 212,760 cases involving falls and 195,150 cases involving injuries to the back. It is important for both employers and employees to take appropriate steps toward preventing workplace injuries, especially at constructions sites, where hazardous materials, sharp and electrical tools, heavy equipment and working conditions involving dangerous heights increase employees’ risk of injury or death. When construction accidents do happen, an experienced Atlantic City injury lawyer can advise victims of their legal rights.

Preventing Falls

According to the Department of Labor, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Between 1995 and 1999, an average of 362 fatal falls occurred each year. The department suggests the following safety measures to prevent falls:

  • Utilize guard rail, safety net and personal fall arrest systems
  • Cover or guard floor holes immediately after they are created
  • Survey sites before beginning work and continually audit for safety as work progresses
  • Construct floor hole covers that will support two times the weight of employees, equipment and materials that may be upon the cover at any one time
  • Construct scaffolds according to manufacturer instructions
  • Provide safe access to scaffold platforms
  • Use rebar caps or wooden troughs to guard protruding ends of steal rebar, or bend rebar so that exposed ends are not upright, thus minimizing the risk of tripping or impalement
  • Position portable ladders so the side rails extend at least three feet above the landing
  • Make sure the weight on a ladder will not cause it to slip
  • Inspect ladders carefully before use for cracked or broken parts
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines concerning the amount of weight a ladder can support

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction site fall, an Atlantic City injury attorney can evaluate your case to determine if a lawsuit may be pursued on your behalf.

Preventing Electrical Accidents

The Department of Labor reports that approximately 350 electrical-related deaths occur annually and suggests that the following precautions be taken when working with or near electricity:

  • Look for overhead and buried power lines and post warnings
  • Consult utility companies to find out where buried power lines are located
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines
  • Assume overhead lines are energized, unless you have been advised otherwise
  • De-energize and ground lines when working near them
  • Use non-conductive wood or fiberglass ladders near power lines
  • Visually inspect electrical equipment before using it and do not use items with frayed cords, missing ground prongs or cracked tool casings until the problem has been fixed
  • Use double-insulated tools and equipment and always follow manufacturer instructions
  • Use factory assembled extension cord sets
  • Only use extension cords coded for hard or extra-hard usage and only use the 3-wire type
  • Disconnect cords by pulling on the plug, not the cord
  • Continually audit cords that are in use and remove hazardous cords from service

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed at a construction site, contact an experienced Atlantic City injury attorney to discuss your case and learn about possible legal recourse.