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Staying safe around heavy machinery

Supervisors at Minnesota construction sites can take steps to protect their workers. Heavy machinery can be particularly dangerous, but safety procedures may mitigate that danger. Training is key. Workers must know how to use equipment as well as procedures that should be followed in case of an emergency. Communication is equally important. This does not just mean communicating safety standards to workers. Communication between workers during the work day keeps the site safer as well.

Deadlines may create feelings of stress, but working slowly and steadily is the safer approach. Rushing leads to carelessness and accidents, and these create delays. Working more slowly also ensures that supervisors and workers stay observant. Everyone on a site with heavy machinery should keep an eye on what they are doing and on what others are doing as well as ensuring that safety standards are met. Construction work can be dangerous, and machines cause 35 percent of accidents on the job annually and 14 percent of workplace fatalities. Inspecting machines regularly to ensure that they are working properly is also an important aspect of staying safe.

Sometimes, accidents may occur despite the best efforts of supervisors and workers. Workers who do sustain an accident on a construction site may wish to consult an attorney.

Individuals who are injured on the job are generally eligible for workers' compensation regardless of who is at fault. Workers' compensation paperwork can be complex, and an attorney might be helpful in ensuring that these documents are completed correctly. In some cases, if the accident was caused by the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible to maintain a separate personal injury action as well.

Source: EHS Today, "5 Tips to Safely Operate Heavy Machinery", James White, December 04, 2014

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