Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Fatal four: Issues that often cause Pennsylvania workers injury

You may be one of many Altoona residents who earns a living in the construction industry. In this town and many other Pennsylvania regions, hardly a day goes by when construction crews aren't hard at work, often in high-risk situations, such as carrying out duties on highways or other high-traffic areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says there are four issues most frequently associated with worker injuries.

Your employer has many obligations to fulfill regarding your safety on the job. First, it is the employer's responsibility to provide necessary information, proper training and any and all available equipment to help reduce your risk for injury in the workplace. It is also your employer's responsibility to report workplace accidents to the proper officials. Finally, most employers must purchase workers' compensation insurance, which would provide you benefits to pay medical expenses and replace lost wages if you suffer injury on company time.

Beware of the fatal four

The following list shows problem issues that OSHA officials have deemed high-risk regarding duties you might carry out during a typical construction-industry workday:

  • Many people who work in construction suffer from struck-by-object injuries. If a heavy object falls from above and strikes you or a work vehicle hits you, you may suffer partial or full disability as a result.
  • Falling is another fatal four issue. Whether you fall from a high level or slip and fall on the ground, you risk suffering sprains, broken bones or serious neck or back injuries that may leave you unable to return to your duties.
  • There is typically a lot of heavy machinery and equipment on construction sites. If you get stuck between two or more objects, you may suffer a serious, even life-threatening situation due to crushing, compression or squeezing injuries.
  • Electrocution is another of the fatal four issues that OSHA officials deem most prevalent in the construction industry.

You have hopefully received proper training and are aware of safety regulations and protocol designed to help you avoid the fatal four and other injury-risk issues on the job. If your employer provides the proper safety gear and you don't wear it, you may be the one deemed liable for your own injury if an accident occurs. However, if your employer failed to fulfill safety obligations, that's an entirely different story.

Recovering from a workplace accident

Construction work is known as one of the most dangerous types of work in Altoona and throughout the nation. That doesn't necessarily mean it is your fault if you suffer injury on the job. In the aftermath of a workplace accident, the highest priority is obtaining medical attention. Beyond that, you can access the workers' compensation system to seek benefits to help pay for the care you need and to help make ends meet at home while you recover from your injuries.

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Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

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Altoona, PA 16602

Phone: 814-201-6845
Fax: 814-946-9105
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