Injured construction worker laying on floor after fall

How to Prevent Accidents and What to Do If One Occurs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 5,333 deaths occurred in 2019 due to workplace injuries. This was a 2% increase from 2018, which recorded 5,250 deaths. When it comes to accidents, industries like the construction industries are high-risk industries.

Accidents are unintentional, and it may be impossible to control them. However, employees, operators, and owners can take some steps to prevent accidents. Below are ways to prevent accidents from occurring and what to do once they occur.

How To Prevent Accidents at a Construction Site

Construction sites are filled with a combination of trucks, machinery, materials, and employees going on with their work simultaneously. The potentiality of debris to fall also makes construction sites prone to accidents. But you can prevent them, as explained below.

Wearing Safety Gear

Construction sites are notorious for unforeseen safety hazards and unpredictable accidents. All the workers in construction sites should always be prepared by wearing protective gear.

Some of the items a worker should never miss include harnesses, hearing protection, eye protection, hard hats, masks, heavy-duty gloves, and slip-resistant boots. It is better to be safe than sure.

Reducing Night Work

Dark environments and late work hours are a tremendous potentiality for accidents. Workers should not be encouraged to work at night. If they have to work at night or in dark areas, it should be in the areas of the site regarded as low risk.

Accidents happen most at night because workers might be tired. Also, people are less focused at night, especially if they have other duties. All these, combined with reduced visibility, increase the threat of more accidents.

Breaking Regularly

Introducing and incorporating frequent breaks in the schedule of workers makes them more productive and reduces accidents too. Breaks allow workers to re-energize. The energy can be regained from energy drinks, food, or resting.

Energetic workers will remain alert, focused and will not be fatigued. Mistakes causing accidents, therefore, will be minimal.

Carrying Out Equipment Maintenance Checks

The kind of machinery used in construction sites supersedes anything human beings have ever controlled. With the reliability of human beings on these machines being apparent, it is necessary to check and maintain them frequently.

Most of the injuries in construction sites result from cranes, trucks of heavy machinery. Checking these colossal machines regularly helps in preventing injury-causing malfunctions before they happen.

Holding Safety Regular Meetings

Holding regular safety meetings shows the importance of safety at the workplace. The employer or manager should see to it that all employees attend the safety meetings. During the meeting, the employee is reminded of the potential dangers at the place.

Most construction sites make use of ‘Toolbox Talks.’ These are short and informal discussions aimed at particular safety issues, and they are used as a guide in safety meetings. Focusing on a new problem every time ensures that the employees are always informed of the risk factors associated with accidents.

Safety Training

Every manager and employee should be adequately trained on the safety hazards in the workplace. Part of the safety training includes the potential dangers that can happen at the worksite.

Employers at construction sites should have a written safety policy that includes the emergency protocols, instructions for operating machinery and equipment, safety procedures, and the name and location of a trained first aid responder.

Besides the written policy, the employees should also receive hands-on demonstration and training showing how equipment and chemicals should be handled at work.

What To Do in the Occurrence of an Accident

As much as you try to prevent an accident at the construction site, they might happen. Accidents happen when most people are unprepared and sometimes leave people in confusion. The sight of your colleague injured and the unfolding events make it hard to be of sane mind.

So, follow the tips listed below on what to do after an accident occurs, and you won’t be confused anymore.

Request for Medical Attention

The first thing you should be thinking about after you get injured is getting medical help. Even if you believe that the injuries are minor, it is still necessary to get medical help.

In most cases, serious injuries do not show symptoms immediately when the accident occurs. They show up hours or days after the injury. The most crucial step in recovery is treating injuries promptly.

Besides being good for your health, evidence showing that you sought medical help makes it easy for you in case you want to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Inform the Employer

After addressing the health issues, it is only wise to inform your employer. Some states have statutes that require employees to report accidents after some time. Your state might not be having the statute, but writing to your employee is essential for various reasons.

First, processing your compensation claim will be faster, and you won’t have to deal with unnecessary delays. Also, your lawsuit will appear more valid if you report it promptly.

Talk To an Attorney

If you happen to be injured at a construction site, you are eligible for two remedies. Speaking to a construction accident attorney will help you decide which of the two is better for you.

You can either file a personal injury claim or ask for a workers’ compensation claim. If you call an attorney, they will explain everything to you and give you the best advice.

Photos and Names

If you have encountered an accident, request a Coworker to get photos of the scene almost immediately. The images are important because they act as evidence of what the condition was before changed.

Also, list down the addresses and names of any witnesses present during the accident. These people will help with the investigation. Witnesses can be influenced by other factors like fewer, and may not volunteer to testify what happened, so be sure to have their names.

Accidents Are Preventable

Accidents at construction sites are so many due to the nature of the work done there. But, all workers at the site have a role to play if they want to prevent accidents.

If you still encounter an accident even after doing everything within your means to prevent it, follow the tips above explaining what to do after an accident occurs.

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