The start of spring means that construction work is beginning to ramp up for the year. As road works and other construction projects begin, it is important for companies and workers to refresh themselves on the construction site and construction worker safety.

Common Springtime Construction Hazards

Even though spring is thought of as one of the “warm” seasons, it can have plenty of hazards that construction workers and companies should be aware of, especially during the early spring when winter weather seems like it does want to let go. Some of the more common spring hazards for construction include:

  • Rain, especially during the first few weeks of spring. Rainwater can make many areas of construction sites particularly hazardous, including scaffolding, raised walkways, and ladders. Slippery conditions are the perfect recipe for fall accidents. In addition, heavy rains can soften the ground, making trench collapses a serious risk. 
  • Mud, as melting winter snow and spring rains can make dirt or turf areas very muddy. This can cause workers, temporary structures, or machinery to slip around and cause a serious accident.
  • Many spring storms also come with lightning, which can injure workers who are exposed in open construction areas or working on roofs or other tall structures. The risks of lighting strikes are especially high where workers are around metal components, such as scaffolding.
  • Spring rainstorms can also have high winds, which may cause construction accidents when workers up on scaffolding, ladders, or other heights are blown over, or when unsecured objects are blown off roofs, scaffolding, or high open floors and strike workers below.
  • Sunshine – during the early spring, the sun and its UV radiation can become strong enough on a clear day to cause sunburns or heat stroke. However, construction workers working outside may not realize the risks of sunlight if the air temperature is still cool. 
  • Overexertion – Construction companies and workers may try to work harder and faster at the beginning of the spring, especially if projects were left over and put on hold during the winter. However, rushing on a construction site is the easiest way to cause an accident. 

Steps Companies and Workers Can Take to Keep Construction Sites Safe

Fortunately, there are actions that construction companies and their workers can take to help make construction sites safer during springtime weather:

  • Ensuring that all workers and persons on the construction site are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, including clothing to protect from the elements, sunglasses if it is sunny outside, gloves, hardhats, and slip-resistant and steel-toed footwear
  • Installing fall protection equipment, including railings, warning signs, catch nets, or harnesses for workers
  • Emphasizing ladder/scaffold safety, including ensuring that scaffolding and ladders are erected and used properly and that workers are instructed to come down during inclement weather
  • Frequent trench inspections and use of reinforcing equipment to prevent cave-ins

Legal Options If You Are Injured in a Construction Site Accident

If you are injured on a construction site during the spring, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to recover financial benefits. These benefits include payment for medical treatment/rehabilitation, partial wage replacement if you miss time from work or payments for permanent disabilities that result from a work injury or occupational illness. 

Contact a Rochelle Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, Englewood, and all across New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.