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Complacency often the cause of construction workers' accidents

Too many fatal falls occur on construction sites in New York. Sadly, the complacency of some supervisors and employees causes many construction workers' accidents. If workers disregard safety regulations for years without suffering injuries, they will continue to do so, and set that example for new workers joining the crew. Before long there will be some potentially life-threatening hazards that will not be addressed because they are no longer considered as dangers.

Three such hazards threaten the lives of roof workers. While they may be issued with safety monitors to warn them if they move dangerously close to the roof's edge, and with guardrails and flags in place, the risks around skylights might be ignored. The plastic, glass or other material from which the skylight is made might not be sturdy enough to hold the weight of a worker who stands, sits or even falls onto it. The same applies to the strength of protective cages. Skylight screens, guardrails or other material to warn workers of the danger must be placed around skylights.

Hatches pose the second, often forgotten risk. The fact that workers access the roof through the hatch does not mean it would be safe for those moving about on the roof, and it requires the same protection and warning materials as skylights do. Lastly, and possibly the most hazardous error involves personal fall protection. Fall harnesses, lanyards, connectors and anchors would serve no purpose if they malfunction. Careful examination of all its parts is crucial at the start of every shift, and adequate training in the correct use of the gear is essential.

Victims of construction workers' accidents in New York might suffer long-term consequences, especially if falls caused their injuries. Mounting medical bills and lost wages typically result in anxiety. However, financial assistance is available, and an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help with the navigation of benefits claims to cover those costs.

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