Construction laborers and other LIUNA members can face a wide range of physical hazards on jobsites. All of the “fatal four” hazards in construction – falls, electrocutions and struck-by and caught-in/between incidents – are physical hazards. Other physical hazards workers may face include motorist intrusions into work zones, trench collapses and workplace violence.
Impact of Physical Hazards
The fatal four physical hazards are responsible for more than half of all on-the-job fatalities among construction laborers. In addition to causing many worker fatalities, physical hazards can cause serious, debilitating and lifelong injuries that jeopardize workers’ ability to earn a living.
Addressing Physical Hazards
A good safety program and safety training based on jobsite-specific hazards are critical to preventing injuries from physical hazards. In addition, employers can foster a safety culture that empowers workers to speak up when hazards are present. Many studies have shown that union construction projects have fewer safety and health violations and recorded incidents than non-union projects, as union workers are more comfortable raising safety concerns to their employers.
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