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Safety standards are there to protect you at work

Safety is of the utmost importance to people who work in construction. If you're not wearing the correct safety gear or do not use the right safety protocols, it could result in someone getting hurt or killed.

There are very specific standards for safety in construction zones and similar workplaces. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are approximately 252,000 construction sites around the country at any one time. With so many people at risk of injuries, it's absolutely vital to protect yourself with the correct equipment and training.

1. The risk of working with scaffolding is real

Scaffolding was included in the top 10 most frequently cited violations. When you work on scaffolding, it must be assembled correctly. Before you use it, you should look over the piece of scaffolding and check it for loose bolts or other signs that it could collapse when weight is on it.

Never place more weight on scaffolding than it is rated for. For instance, if it is rated for 500 pounds, having three workers on the scaffolding could potentially be too much if they even weigh as little as 175 pounds each.

Scaffolding presents a fall hazard as well, so it's important to have guardrails, toeboards, midrails and other equipment to help prevent accidents.

2. Ladders pose a risk to workers, too

Ladders also have the potential to be a fall risk. You always need to use the correct ladder for the task at hand, and in most cases, you should work in a buddy system, so one person can help secure the ladder if it is necessary.

3. Trench hazards pose a real threat

If a trench is not created correctly, it could collapse on the people using it. That could lead to crushing injuries that may be fatal. Protective systems that should be in place include sloping for the proper type of soil, shielding to protect workers and shoring by installing support beams.

If you're hurt on the job, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Your employer can help prevent accidents by using the techniques above.

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