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Will the national stand-down limit construction accidents?

The Construction Safety Week 2018 that runs between May 7 and May 11 nationally will aim to elevate awareness of the importance of creating safe work environments in Illinois and elsewhere. Workers must receive adequate training and personal protective equipment to keep them safe and healthy. An insurance company that is one of the sponsors of the stand-down urges companies to pay particular attention to training and onboarding. The insurer says claim data indicates that more than half of the injuries are suffered in construction accidents within worker's first year on the job.

The likelihood of construction accidents will naturally be higher when there are workers with little or no experience on site. For this reason, officials suggest a hiring program that includes orientation that is site-specific along with an analysis of potential hazards and training in the proper use of safety equipment. Past incidents and near misses can be used as demonstrations during the training process. A thorough analysis of these incidents can also help to keep safety protocols current.

No two construction jobs are identical, and the potential risks of every project must be evaluated before a project-specific safety plan is drafted. Along with the changing sites and their unique challenges, new workers on the team must be considered in the safety plan for that job. Safety programs must be adapted to fit the changing environments, and these plans must be communicated to all along with proper supervision and enforcement.

While national stand-downs such as this can have many positive outcomes and instances of construction accidents might become fewer, workers will always be at risk of suffering injuries. Victims of workplace accidents in Illinois can seek financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance program. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the claims process could be challenging. However, help is available from an experienced attorney who works with benefits claims every day.

Source: forconstructionpros.com, "Construction Safety Week 2018 to Encourage Safe Workplace Practices", May 3, 2018

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