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Safety tips for California construction workers

Summer is the prime season for construction work across the nation as well as in California. Having plenty of work is good for everyone, but the busy summer season can lead to more construction workers' accidents.

Unlike accidents in many other industries, construction accidents can be complicated. Of course, workers' compensation exists to help workers maintain an income during recovery, but the amount an injured employee receives may not be enough to meet his or her needs. For example, in workers' compensation claims the injured worker receives immediate medical benefits but by law cannot recover money for pain or suffering.  Further, liability for a construction worker's accident may be unclear or involve third parties. These can include equipment manufacturers, subcontractors and many others.  If you are involved in a construction accident you may also be represented by a personal injury lawyer who will review the case and determine if you have a claim against a third party.

While you can certainly seek the maximum compensation for your work injuries by consulting with an attorney, it is always a better idea to avoid and prevent construction workers' accidents altogether. Use the basic safety tips below to help keep you and your coworkers as safe as possible in all construction seasons.

Make sure you utilize any available safety gear to protect yourself from falls, which are the number one cause of construction fatalities. Such gear includes safety harnesses, safety nets, properly constructed scaffolding and other fall arrest systems.

Collapsing trenches are also a top cause of construction fatalities. Be cautious when working near or in trenches and make use of all available systems that help prevent trench collapses.

One of the most valuable and arguably easiest safety tips is to utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. When you are busy working, it is all too easy to ignore this equipment, especially if you will only need it for a moment. Examples of safety gear include hardhats, gloves, proper footwear, goggles and face shields.

Source: OSHA.gov, "Worker Safety Series Construction," accessed May 11, 2017

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