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Education used to stop workers from being injured on the job

In a neighboring state of Maryland's, seven construction workers were injured on the job in two different scaffolding collapse accidents last month. One of the incidents occurred at a moving company and the other occurred at the construction site of a hotel. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the U.S. Department of Labor, both accidents are currently being investigated.

The accidents happened at the same time that OSHA has been working with construction industry businesses in various states to increase workplace safety. The safety campaign is being conducted out of one of OSHA's northeast offices. Maryland was one of the primary focuses of attention along with other areas like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. As a part of the campaign, construction workers are being taught about workplace safety standards, and OSHA is conducting various construction site inspections.

One of the top reasons for people being injured on the job relates to falling. Indeed, in a neighboring state, 42 out of 80 fatal construction accidents that happened in the last decade were the result of falling. Another 18 of these accidents happened as a result of equipment, vehicles or stray materials striking a victim.

Often, after an injury occurs, construction site workers will inform OSHA that they were aware of the safety precautions they were supposed to have taken; however, they did not take them because they were being rushed to complete their jobs. Another issue relates to workers not being familiar with how to use harnesses for fall prevention. Those who have never used fall prevention equipment like this may not be informed about using it correctly. Additionally, they might not know how to inspect such equipment to ensure that it is safe.

Most construction workers know that they are covered by workers' compensation insurance in the state of Maryland. However, many workers are not fully informed with regard to how to successfully file a workers' compensation claim in the event that they are injured on the job. Indeed, this can be a difficult task to try and navigate while struggling to recover from an injury. Fortunately, workers can get assistance in filing such claims from an attorney who is familiar with workers' compensation law. Expert assistance like this may even help a worker to gain a higher level of benefits.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Workzone: Agency building safety at construction sites" Len Boselovic, Jul. 13, 2014

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