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Even the smallest details can lead to work-related injuries

A recent review of injury reports for those employed in the construction industry revealed an interesting fact. While the industry itself contains multiple hazards, it is often the smaller details that can lead to work-related injuries. No matter how safety aware North Carolina workers are, sometimes the most mundane work can lead to an accident with serious consequences.

Although construction workers face many extreme working conditions, almost 30 percent of accident reports involve injuries that are caused by relatively benign activities, such as crossing a work site on foot or climbing relatively low heights. Many supervisors lament that workers sometimes tend to take everyday tasks for granted and thereby forget to pay close attention to the tasks they carry out on a frequent basis. Some have alleged that the regular nature of the task leads to reduced attention.

On the other hand, it has been pointed out that supervisors could take action to keep their employees focused by engaging them in open dialogue concerning what they believe may constitute a hazard on the job. By seeking input from workers, both sides may be able to pinpoint areas where due diligence may lessen the risk of a serious accident. Overall, construction workers are alert to the dangers posed by their occupation; however, not every accident can be foreseen and prevented.

The majority of work-related injuries are not the result of gross misconduct or negligence on the part of employees; instead, accidents may be more likely to occur when employers fail to refresh safety protocols with their crew members or offer reminders of the risks posed by less hazardous duties. The majority of North Carolina workers take great care to perform their duties in the safest manner possible. Unfortunately, accidents do occur, and employees do suffer illnesses and injuries regardless of their due diligence. Those who are hurt on the job have access to the state's workers' compensation program. If one does suffer an injury while working, one is entitled to seek out local resources experienced in helping workers obtain the benefits they are legally entitled to receive.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Ten Feet Tall and Falling", Cheri Genereaux, Jan. 1, 2015

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