In the last few years we have all noticed an increase in construction work in Los Angeles. We have been stuck in extra traffic due to roadwork on our way to the office.
We have seen more scaffolding and construction equipment in our neighborhood.
Construction has been growing over the last few years and with this growth has come more construction workers and construction site injuries.
According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and C&B Law Group, the leading construction injury law experts in Los Angeles, fatalities at construction sites have increased every year with the industry’s growth.
OSHA statistics show that about three percent of construction workers are injured at work by one of the top four construction hazards.
Top Four Construction Hazards
One of the primary causes of fall related injuries is due to unprotected scaffolding and lift equipment sides, edges, and structural holes.
Fall related injuries can also be because of poorly constructed working surfaces, like slippery surfaces during a rainy construction season.
Another reason for fall related injuries is the failure to provide workers with the proper personal fall safety equipment or fall arrest systems.
The construction accident lawyer Los Angeles confirmed that poorly constructed and maintained worksites were the number one leading cause of construction site fall injuries.
The primary cause of the electrocution for construction workers is contact with overhead power lines.
Overhead injuries are naturally hard to prevent because they are outside of a construction worker’s line of site and peripheral vision.
Other construction site electrical injuries are because of contact with live circuits, poorly maintained power cords, and even lightning strikes.
Lighting strikes are more common in southeastern coastal areas of the United States, because of the region’s excessive moisture and warmer temperatures.
Caught-in injuries result from construction workers being caught-in-between two objects. The primary cause of caught-in construction injuries occurs because of trench and excavation collapses.
Many caught-in-injuries are also a result of being caught-in spinning equipment, unguarded equipment parts, and equipment rollovers.
The final and most common cause of injury for construction workers is being struck-by objects.
Struck-by accidents occur as a result of falling objects, projectiles and on-site vehicle accidents involving a vehicle and a construction worker.
According to construction injury experts at C&B Law Group, falling object injuries can be due to a combination of inadequate overhead protection, rigging failure, loose or shifting materials, and equipment tip-over and malfunction.
Injuries caused by projectiles are among those most deadly Struck-by-injuries at construction sites.
Projectiles can come from widely-used motorized power tools, human force like pushing or pulling, or pressurized projectiles from a compressor.
Any air compressor with compression beyond 30 PSI(pound per square inch) has enough pressure to cause even the most harmless materials, like oil, to pierce through the skin.
Vehicle-caused injuries could be from other employee vehicles, construction vehicles like trucks hauling construction materials, or from construction equipment like a bulldozer.
How to Prevent Construction Injuries
To prevent all injuries, construction workers are encouraged to contact their on-site safety officer and adhere to OSHA guidelines.
As one of the more deadlier injuries on a construction site, preventing falls is one of the highest priorities when securing a construction site from accidents.
The first step in preventing falls is to use and wear personal fall-arrest equipment, like harnesses and lifelines.
The second step in preventing falls is to install, use, and properly keep perimeter protection, like netting.
The third step in preventing falls is to properly protect and secure all holes or openings of any sort in the floor and to properly label all opening protection.
The fourth step in preventing falls is to have the on-site safety officer teach personnel how to safely use ladders, lifts, and scaffolding.
Prevent Electrical Injuries
First step in preventing electrical construction site injuries is to find and note all utility equipment before starting a project.
Construction workers should always be aware of their surroundings, including suspended power lines.
They should be aware and alert when working with ladders, lifts, or when erecting scaffolding.
The second step in preventing electrical injuries is to keep a safe distance between themselves and all power lines.
Construction workers should always ask the on-site safety supervisor for the required safe-distance to keep between their work and power lines.
Prevent Caught-in Injuries
The first step in preventing caught-in injuries is to remember to avoid going into an unprotected trench or excavation that is deeper than a few feet without proper reinforcement in place for the walls or ceiling of the trench or excavation.
An adequate protective system, like a trench wall guard, will help prevent collapses and cave-ins.
The second step in preventing caught-in injuries is to not wear baggy or loose-fitting clothing that might get caught in rotating equipment.
Construction workers always need to be aware of their surroundings when operating or working near rotating equipment.
Prevent Struck-By Injuries
The first step in preventing struck-by injuries is for construction workers to be aware of their surroundings and to always try to avoid positioning themselves between moving and fixed objects.
The second step to preventing struck-by injuries is to make sure the construction worker is wearing high-visibility clothing while on the construction site.
OSHA and C&B Law Group’s construction injury experts both recommend that construction workers contact their immediate on-site safety officers with any questions or concerns about safety protocols and procedures.
Every legitimate construction site in Los Angeles is required to have at least one safety officer that can help construction workers on-site with their immediate safety concerns.
Safety officers are also in charge of planning and preparing all proper safety precautions at every construction site.
For example, a safety officer should know that a rainstorm is forecasted and should plan accordingly to get all employees the proper gear and cover they need to continue working.
Planning, awareness, and prevention are the best way to avoid injury for construction workers. Stay safe.