In North Carolina, a construction site is a piece of land where a building is being erected or repaired. Construction workers often have to use large tools and machinery to carry out their job functions. They also work from great heights and in environments with hazardous conditions.
As a result, working on construction sites can be dangerous and lead to accidents or illnesses that result in workers’ compensation claims. If you suffer an injury at work or develop an occupational disease, our Charlotte work comp lawyers at Waple and Houk can help you. But first, let’s discuss common construction site hazards in North Carolina.
8 Most Common Construction Site Hazards in North Carolina
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. However, the hazards workers face greatly depend on the type of construction work. For instance, working on scaffolding presents different hazards compared with working with asbestos.
Below, we discuss the eight most common hazards construction laborers face.
Working at Height
Falls from heights are one of the leading causes of construction site injuries and fatalities. This puts working at height one of the most common hazards workers face. However, falls are preventable with adequate training. Therefore, construction industry employers should educate their staff on working on different pieces of equipment and surfaces, like ladders, roofs, or scaffoldings.
A building site is ever-changing, with hazards increasing as the project progresses. Workers encounter several moving objects as they perform their duties. It could be overhead lifting equipment, supply vehicles, or diggers. All these make the location an uneven terrain.
Moving object risks are manageable, especially if the workers avoid working close to them. However, it also helps to be vigilant of your surroundings and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). An example is a high-visibility jacket.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Construction sites often have uneven terrain, buildings are at different stages of completion, and unused materials. All these increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Common causes are uneven falls, obstacles, trailing cables, wet or slippery floors.
Site managers and employers can prevent this by effectively managing working areas and access routes, like stairwells and footpaths. If an area is at high risk for this type of accident, it should get fixed immediately.
Building sites are noisy, making noise a common construction hazard. If you are exposed to long, repetitive, and excessive noise, you might suffer long-term hearing loss, e.g., deafness. The sound is also a distraction and might affect employees’ concentration, causing accidents. Therefore, employers should carry out a comprehensive noise risk assessment and provide appropriate PPE equipment to reduce noise hazards.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is a painful and debilitating disease of the blood vessels, nerves, and joints. This ailment comes from prolonged hand-held power tools like ground working equipment and vibratory power tools.
While HAVS is preventable, it is incurable once it damages the nerves, vessels, and joints. However, preventing this ailment is possible if construction workers have the right protection when using vibrating or ground working tools.
It is not uncommon for trenches to collapse with construction workers inside. Also, a building being demolished or built can suddenly give way. These occurrences can severely injure or kill employees.
Thankfully trench collapse is avoidable if employers and workers take certain steps. For instance, only use support suitable for the channel or pit, and carry out inspections during and after work shifts.
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring natural minerals. When asbestos materials are damaged, disturbed, and released into the air, inhaling it causes fatal and severe diseases. The latter could be lung cancer, asbestosis, or pleural thickening.
The mineral is found on roofs, paints, drywall, etc. Employers are obligated to inform their workers of any asbestos-containing material and train them on the proper way to handle them.
There are several exposed live wires at building sites, and touching them could result in electrocution. Most electricity-related accidents are from contact with overhead or underground power cables and electrical equipment. Workers who are not qualified electricians must not handle electrical work, and those who do should wear protective gear.
Let Expert Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Help You
At Waple and Houk, we understand that accidents still happen no matter how careful you are. But, if they do, you deserve compensation, and our work comp attorneys can help you get it. We will ensure you get all your deserved benefits and don’t get cheated by your employer or their insurer. Contact us today for a free case review.