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Safety precautions can be effective -- when workers follow them

It probably comes as no surprise that the leading cause of death in construction accidents is falls. Construction workers often work at great heights, so injuries from scaffolding falls or falls from ladders can be deadly. While many of these accidents are just that -- accidents -- many of them are preventable if the proper care is taken by workers and construction companies.

There are several steps that workers can take to make sure that they are as safe as possible when performing their dangerous jobs:

  • Go through proper training. It's not enough to go through training once, at the beginning of service; periodic retraining can help to ensure that the information is always fresh and relevant.
  • Make sure your safety equipment is in good working order and is being used properly. If the proper safety equipment is being worn, it doesn't matter much if the equipment isn't secured properly. Fall arrest systems can be very effective, but if they are not secured to cable barriers, they cannot do much good.
  • It can be tempting to take shortcuts in order to get work done more quickly, such as stepping on a surface that might be uneven or unsecure. Using an aerial lift might be more time-consuming in such a situation, but it might be more worthwhile.

No matter how many precautions are taken, however, construction accidents can and will happen. When they do, injured workers in the Pittsburgh area might want to consult with experienced workers' compensation attorneys to assist them.

Source: Equipment World, "Disastrous drops," Amy Materson, retrieved May 20, 2014

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