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4 common construction site dangers to watch for

As a construction worker, you are probably quite familiar with the dangers that you face at every work site. Working with scaffolding increases the risk of a fall. You have to worry about cave-ins when excavating or falling objects when your co-workers are doing work on a floor above you. And, of course, there are the dangers that come with working around cranes and the risk of falling loads or the crane itself toppling over.

However, after many years on the job, it is easy to become complacent and overlook the small but extremely dangerous hazards that lurk around every corner on a construction site. Here are a few reminders about common dangers that could cause a work-site accident.

Falls

Over the last several decades, thousands of people in the construction industry have died due to falls from ladders and scaffolds. To reduce your risk of a fall, keep up with safety standards and even consider taking a training course for working with such equipment. In addition, before you use a ladder or scaffold, do an inspection to make sure each is erected properly and in good condition. Also, be sure to use a harness and other protective gear when working at heights.

Toxic materials

As you are probably aware, lead poisoning and asbestos exposure are common hazards for most construction workers. Take steps to reduce your exposure and get checked regularly for signs that you have come into too much contact with the substances.

You should also stay alert for other toxic substances that come in the form of gas, fumes or fine dust. Your employer should be able to provide tips to limit your exposure as well as to safeguard your respiratory system.

Stress and repetitive motion injuries

After years on the job, many construction workers can begin to suffer from stress and repetitive motion injuries from continuously using tools that are not ergonomically correct. For instance, your favorite drill could eventually cause you to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome which can cause debilitating pain and numbness in the hands and forearms. It could also take more than one surgery to correct such an injury. Try to work with lighter tools that don't require as much force and that are properly balanced to limit the stress of holding them for long periods of time.

Live wires

Another common danger on construction sites are live wires. If you are working in an area where you have to come into contact with electrical wires, be sure the power to the area is off. Even experienced electricians can forget to cut the power source before beginning work which usually ends in tragedy.

If you work in the construction industry, it is important to always keep up with safety protocols. However, no matter what kind of precautions you take, sometimes it is impossible to avoid an accident. If this happens and you suffer a construction site accident, you might be able to file a claim for your injuries.

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