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Do not rely on others to keep you safe on a construction site

If you are a construction worker in Louisiana, you will face the same hazards as many other construction workers, regardless of whether your project is a single story residential building or a skyscraper in the city. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety regulations to prevent construction worker injuries in all the different jobs they do, not all employers comply, and accidents continue to happen

However, if you want to avoid sleeping in a hospital rather than at your home, you may want to familiarize yourself with the typical safety risks on construction sites. You should attend every possible training session; learn how to recognize hazards and what to do to protect yourself.

General personal protective equipment

Use every bit of safety gear that your employer provides, even if it seems unnecessary. You may not be in a life-or-death situation, but an unprotected eye can be blinded in an instant. Make sure you wear the following safety gear whenever you are on site:

  • Hard hat
  • Face shield or safety goggles
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety work boots with steel toes
  • Shirt with long sleeves
  • Long work pants

Scaffold and ladder hazards

According to OSHA, the most frequent construction site accidents involve ladders and scaffolds. Proper scaffolds and ladders are necessities rather than luxuries on a construction site. You need not put your life on the line by using them if they are substandard, nor should you use concrete blocks or other objects to elevate you. Inspect scaffolds and ladders for the following issues before using them:

  • Check for wear and tear
  • Structures must be solid and sound
  • Identify broken or bent ladder rungs or scaffold planks
  • Load capacity must allow four times the intended use
  • Swaying or wobbling spells danger
  • Ensure solid footing
  • No slippery substances on scaffold planks or ladder rungs
  • Check proximity to power lines
  • No supplies or tools stored underneath

Fall hazards

OSHA provides an entirely separate section of safety guidelines to prevent all falls — not only from heights. The following precautions might prevent you from falling:

  • Be alert and aware of surroundings
  • Do not rush
  • Clean up spills
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Avoid unstable work surfaces
  • Be extra cautious in dangerous areas
  • Always wear fall protection when working at heights
  • Make sure harness has no tears, rips and frayed edges
  • Examine harness before use to ensure correct hookups

In the event of an accident

Unfortunately, despite all your precautions, construction site accidents could still occur. If you are the victim of such an incident in Louisiana, the first thing to do after receiving the necessary medical attention is to set the ball rolling to get a workers' compensation claim filed. You must report the incident to your supervisor — preferably in writing. He or she must then provide you with the necessary claim forms and report it to the insurer.

This can be a challenging process, but resources are available to assist with legal and administrative requirements when pursuing workers' compensation benefits for medical expenses, lost income and any other applicable benefits.

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Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC
1101 Westbank Expressway
Gretna, LA 70053

Phone: 504-433-5550
Fax: 504-433-5556
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