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Slips, trips and falls -- common construction workers' accidents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a significant percentage of fatalities on construction sites in New York and other states follow slips and trips that lead to falls. The same applies to the number of disabling injuries that are caused by these construction workers' accidents. Falls from heights are not the only cause of fatal or debilitating injuries as same level slips and trips -- which are more prevalent in the winter -- can also cause catastrophic injuries.

Fall hazards can be mitigated in various ways, starting with the requirement that all construction workers at heights exceeding six feet who must wear fall protection gear. Elevator shafts, skylights, window openings and other holes must have guardrails or additional protection to prevent falls. Ground level workers are at risk of slipping on wet surfaces, which are prevalent in areas where snow and ice are present. Wet hazards can also be caused by foot and mobile equipment traffic that brings snow, water or mud from outside into covered areas.

Trip hazards include debris or randomly placed objects in walkways or paths through work areas. Tools and mobile equipment should be kept in lay down tool yards, and electrical extension cords that snake across the floor pose serious risks. Those who use ladders must use the three points of contact method, and they should avoid carrying tools or equipment other than those that fit in their tool belts. A ladder fall, even from the first rung, can cause serious injuries.

Victims of falls that resulted from slips or trips on construction sites might suffer injuries that lead to extensive hospital stays. Mounting medical bills and lost income can cause stress and anxiety, but help is available. A workers' compensation attorney who is experienced in helping victims of construction workers' accidents to file benefits claims with the New York workers' compensation insurance program can help ease that burden.

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