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Construction workers' top five safety hazards

New Jersey construction workers know that they must be alert for on-the-job dangers at all times. There are five major hazards in construction work, but most accidents and deaths are preventable with knowledge, proper equipment and strict adherence to safety guidelines.

Falls are the number one hazard in construction work. Statistics show that falls account for around one-third of construction industry fatalities. Falls often occur because of misuse of safety equipment or failure to use it at all. Unsafe scaffolding or ladders and unstable working surfaces also lead to falls.

Being struck by objects is the next major safety hazard, which includes being struck by vehicles. Workers at busy construction sites can put themselves in danger if they are not properly trained in safety when working near moving vehicles. Vehicle operators can also put themselves or others in danger without proper training on the safe operation of the vehicles.

Electrical hazards are the third ranked danger at construction sites. Caught-in-between accidents, which often involved collapsed trenches, are fourth. The danger of hazardous materials is also one to beware of. Proper training is one of the most important ingredients for safety from all of these hazards.

Workers' compensation gives workers protection from the financial damages that can be caused by work injuries. The protection is quite thorough, including injuries and illnesses caused by work activities even if the worker was at a fault, as well as pre-existing conditions that are exacerbated by work. However, because the law is complex, many workers may not understand their rights, miss filing deadlines or not follow proper procedures when filing a claim. Mistakes in filing might result in being denied for a legitimate claim, so workers may seek assistance from a lawyer.

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