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The four main construction site hazards in New York

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Construction is the backbone of New York’s vibrant urban landscape. With over 240,000 lane miles and stunning high-rise buildings, it’s an essential industry that continually shapes the state’s progress. However, with constant activity and quick-paced work environments, construction sites can pose significant safety risks for workers and the public. Here are the common hazards present in this industry.

Falls from heights

Falls rank as the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. This is because over 62% of workers have to climb on ladders, scaffolds, and roofs as part of their jobs. In fact, there’s an OSHA report that shows that they totaled a combined $28.8 million in penalties and workers’ compensation claims.

To mitigate these risks, rigorous training on proper fall protection strategies is non-negotiable. Employers must ensure that guardrails, safety nets and personal fall arrest systems are present and used correctly.

Struck-by accidents

There are instances where moving machinery, falling objects or vehicles can hit workers. The nature of the construction sector, with its intense focus on logistics and coordination of multiple moving parts, contributes to the potential for these events.

Some of the best practices to minimize struck-by accidents include designating traffic lanes, using warning signs and signals and wearing high-visibility clothing. Employers should also meticulously plan and supervise all activities to prevent any unplanned movement of equipment or materials.

Electrocution incidents

The complex electrical systems involved in many New York construction projects can pose serious threats to workers. Electrocution is a common cause of injury, often resulting from contact with power lines, improper use of electrical equipment or lack of ground-fault protection. Workers should receive thorough training on electrical safety protocols, and all equipment must meet OSHA standards for construction sites.

Caught-in or between hazards

Lastly, caught-in/between hazards occur when workers become trapped, squeezed or crushed between objects. These accidents can happen during excavation projects, trenching operations or when working around heavy equipment. The same struck-by-accident safety protocols apply here, too, emphasizing proper safety measures for excavation and trenching.

Creating a culture of safety is not a one-time endeavor—it is an ongoing process that requires effort from all levels of the construction hierarchy. Still, if you get hurt, you should rest assured that if you follow the right protocols, you may get workers’ compensation benefits and the financial compensation that you need to heal and get back to work.