The construction industry is a vital part of the Georgia economy, and many Atlanta workers find gainful employment in the sector. However, working in construction can often be hazardous and statistically speaking, the construction industry ranks high in dangerous work environments and occupational injuries. Workers injured on construction sites are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Some injuries may even constitute third-party liability, opening up the possibility for further compensation. Injured Atlanta workers should speak to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to learn exactly what their rights are.
Common Types of Injuries in the Construction IndustryConstruction environments present hazards to workers everyday. In Georgia, the construction industry posts the some of the highest injury rates for workers, both non-fatal and fatal. Some common sources of injuries on construction sites come from:
- Falls – A majority of injuries on construction sites are due to fall accidents. Falling from scaffolding, ladders, roofs, cranes, and other high places is simply a risk construction workers take by being on the job.
- Machinery Related Accidents – Many construction workers are injured by equipment used on site. Heavy machinery may fail or malfunction in addition to the dangers presented by lax safety codes or user error.
- Falling Objects – Tools or material falling from above frequently lead to injury, ranging from minor bruises to traumatic brain injuries.
- Crushed or Backed Into by Vehicles – While working on site, construction workers may be backed into or crushed by large trucks on site.
- Fires and Explosions – The number of hazardous materials on construction sites make fires and explosions a fairly common occurrence and a consistent source of injury.
- Building or Trench Collapses – Another common problem for construction sites is the risk of a trench or building collapse while workers are inside.
- Hazardous Substances – A variety of materials at construction sites including cement, paint, lead, asbestos, insulation, and drywall put workers at risk for a number of occupational diseases.
Creating Safer Construction SitesFortunately, a vast majority of construction site injuries are preventable. Construction bosses can promote safer work environments by making sure workers are following appropriate safety procedures and making sure equipment is functioning properly. Simple ways to reduce construction site accidents include:
- Enforcing the use of safety gear and equipment, such as hardhats, reflective clothing, harnesses, and goggles;
- Holding mandatory safety meetings;
- Ensuring machinery and equipment is in proper working condition;
- Taking regular breaks to prevent worker fatigue;
- Following all OSHA safety regulations; and
- Investing in proper worker training.