Heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, dump trucks, front loaders, excavators and cranes, are present on almost all construction sites in Oklahoma. Safety authorities say a significant number of workplace injuries and fatalities involve mobile equipment. They say that construction workers who work on and around these big machines every day often become complacent, and that is when they are most vulnerable.
While heavy equipment poses an endless list of hazards, the two most common ones are struck-by and caught-in or caught-between accidents. An example of a struck-by accident is a swinging excavator bucket that strikes a worker on the ground or a dump truck that knocks down a pedestrian worker. A caught-in or between accident could be one in which a piece of heavy equipment pushes a worker and crushes him or her against another stationary, solid object.
If employers can plan the construction process in a way that would eliminate the need for pedestrian workers at ground level where heavy equipment is used, they could avoid such accidents. It might not be possible to have no ground-level workers present, but if there are only a few workers on foot, the equipment operators can keep track of their whereabouts. However, both operators and pedestrian workers must be alert and on the lookout for potential dangers at all times.
Construction workers in Oklahoma may find comfort in the fact that the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system has them covered in the events of workplace injuries. Workplace accidents that involve heavy mobile equipment could result in catastrophic injuries that might leave workers with permanent disabilities. This is where the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney become invaluable. A lawyer can assist with the navigation of the claim in pursuit of maximum benefits.