For Oakland residents who work in construction, there are inherent dangers with this type of occupation. Workers are using heavy tools, operating vehicles, moving heavy items and working with complex machinery. Any of these factors can cause an accident with injuries. Construction workers are also stationed at great heights.

According to Nationwide, the most frequent reason for workers’ compensation claims is construction falls. The insurer says there were more than 10,000 claims for construction accidents in the past five years, and nearly one-third were fall-related. The combination of problems workers face in the aftermath of a fall are many, including significant lost time on the job, extensive physical damage and being on disability.

Strategies to maintain worker safety and prevent falls include educating workers about safety procedures when they are working on an elevated surface. There should be specific policies and preparation to reduce the need for ladders and alternatives for them, inspections for wear and tear with replacements and repairs, and proper training to assess lifts and scaffolds. Other strategies suggested by Nationwide include guardrails on scaffolds and other structures that workers need to work on elevated surfaces, pulleys and ropes that will help with lifting materials, and podium stepladders.

Adherence to safety and vigilance are imperative to avoiding workplace accidents. However, it is an unfortunate fact that workers may still suffer injuries on the job. This is especially true with physical labor like construction. The lack of safety equipment, failure to place proper warnings and basic mistakes can cause accidents. Injured workers will lose wages, need medical treatment and may never be able to return to the job they did before.

Workers’ comp benefits are critical to cover what employees have lost. However, there may be issues with the claim, such as a disagreement as to the extent of the injuries, how much medical care is needed or whether the worker is hurt at all. A legal professional may provide guidance with filing a claim.