The construction industry faces five hazards in particular whenever summer comes around. Both employees and employers in New Jersey will want to know what these are and what can be done to prevent them from causing injury. The first is fatigue. Workers do not make sound judgments or react quickly to dangers when fatigued. The second is heat-related illness, which ranges from heat rash to heat stroke.
Employers are encouraged to supply plenty of hydrating fluids and a shaded area for rest breaks. Breaks should be frequent and mandatory. Workers’ PPE should be appropriate for the weather. Modifying work shifts may be wise as long as workers are willing to work earlier in the morning or later at night.
Third, there is the threat of dehydration. Among hydrating fluids, water is king, but Gatorade and other electrolytic beverages may be more enticing to workers. Then there is the risk of prolonged sun exposure. Sunscreen, hats and the use of canopies and umbrellas provide an answer to this.
Lastly, there is the danger of being struck by a vehicle in a roadside construction zone. Employers should post signs that reduce the speed limit, and barriers should clearly demarcate the zone. Workers should be trained on traffic-related hazards and wear high-visibility safety vests.
Under workers’ compensation law, those who are injured on the job may receive benefits regardless of who, if anyone, was at fault. Still, they may be denied payment if the employer proves that their negligence caused the injuries. It may be a good idea to hire a lawyer to assist with the filing of the claim. A lawyer may even prove beneficial if victims need to file an appeal. In addition, he or she may explain the pros and cons of a settlement.