As a New York construction worker, you put yourself at risk every time you set foot on the job site. You have seen your co-workers fall down uncovered holes and get hit on the head by falling debris. You have even witnessed other guys falling multiple stories because the scaffolding broke.
Getting hurt on the job is a constant threat and if it happens, you have options to pursue medical care and recover lost wages through a workers' compensation claim.
As with most people, you would rather avoid the accident than suffer any long-term effects of an injury. Read below for some preventative safety measures to avoid fire and electrical hazards on construction sites.
General preventive strategies
When you are handling live or energized circuits, be sure the line has been fitted with a lockout or tagout device. This will prevent the current from transferring from the wire to your hand if you happen to touch it.
Also, this type of device will keep the wires from sparking and causing a fire.
Always wear protective eyewear and appropriate gloves while working with electric lines and fire. For example, always wear a hood when you are welding. This will protect your vision from the flying sparks and the bright and damaging light that emits from the torch. Thick welder's gloves will also protect your skin and clothes and from burning.
Keep your work area clean. Be sure to remove debris and hazardous materials from your workspace on a regular basis. This limits the chance of an accidental fire breaking out.
Before working with electrical lines, outlets, or high voltage equipment, you should have received the proper training from your employer or another source.
Never work with tools or materials that you are not properly qualified to operate.
Not only does welding require the proper safety-wear, but it also requires that you be aware of your surroundings. When you are welding, the sparks can fly into places you cannot see and possibly start a fire.
Be sure that any type of combustible materials, liquids, and containers are moved far out of the reach of wayward sparks. Also, take the time to move power cords out of the danger zone.
Temporary electrical set-ups
When a site is first getting started, you often have to use a temporary electrical service outside of the building while the permanent system is getting installed. Be sure that you are not using a system that is overloaded or exposed to stormy or rainy weather.
Fires can break out at construction sites very easily. Take the time to know where your employer has placed fire extinguishers. When you are working on electrical installations or with a welder, be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy in case a fire starts.
Staying safe on the job is always your top priority, but accidents happen. If you have been injured on a construction site, you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim. Inquire with a local New York attorney to find out what kind of benefits you are eligible to receive.