California employers must address safety hazards in the workplace. And yet, construction workers’ accidents claim thousands of lives each year. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health says most, if not all, workplace accidents are preventable through compliance with prescribed safety standards and a designating competent person to identify and rectify injury risks.
Construction sites are high-risk operations, in which the most hazardous areas require particular caution. Workers on scaffolds face multiple hazards, including falls and being struck by falling objects, along with electrocutions if the scaffolding is near overhead power lines. Electrocutions can happen anywhere on construction sites, through direct or indirect contact with a power source. Multilevel construction projects have workers at different elevations, increasing the risk of being struck by falling objects like building materials, tools and even beams.
Trip-and-fall accidents can happen on ground level or scaffolds and other elevated work areas, and because construction sites will always have building materials and other objects in random places, distracted workers are at the highest risk. The fifth significant risk on building sites is that of being caught in or between objects, resulting in a worker — or a body part — being squeezed, trapped, compressed or crushed between objects. These accidents could involve equipment, rollovers, unguarded machines, collapsing materials, cave-ins and more.
These are all known hazards for which safety regulations prescribe preventive measures. Unfortunately, profits are often prioritized over employee safety, leaving workers to bear the brunt of the consequences. Victims of construction workers’ accidents are typically eligible for benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages, and an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney can help with the navigation of benefits claims.