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Some workplace injuries are preventable

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says between six and seven million construction workers risk their lives on building sites nationwide every day. Many of those are in Oklahoma, and regardless of whether they work on high rises or single story residential projects, hazards are plentiful. Although employers are responsible for employee safety, each worker can take specific precautionary steps to avoid workplace injuries.

The first safety aspect is never to avoid training sessions, even if it covers known ground, it can prevent complacency and keep workers aware of potential hazards and how to deal with them. Next is never to avoid wearing personal protective equipment -- even if a dangerous task will take up only a few minutes. Retrieving a tool from a slanted roof might take only five minutes, but slipping and falling off a roof will happen in the blink of an eye -- which makes the short time it would have taken to strap on a fall harness worthwhile.

Comprehensive knowledge of how to use safety equipment is crucial, as is the need to inspect Personal Protective Equipment for wear and tear before every shift to avoid malfunction that might lead to death. The same applies to scaffolds and ladders. Any type of damage like rusted ladder rungs or bent and broken scaffold planks can cause collapses with devastating consequences. The base upon which ladders and scaffolds rest must be level and the proximity of any power lines must be checked.

While Oklahoma workers may prevent some workplace injuries by being alert and taking all possible precautions, accidents on construction sites will likely continue to occur. When they do, injured workers can rely on the workers' compensation insurance program to provide financial assistance. Legal counsel can help with the navigation of benefits claims to obtain compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: smallbusiness.chron.com, "How Can Employees Reduce Workplace Injuries in Construction?", Vicki Wright, Accessed on May 12, 2018

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