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Construction safety: Don't let demolition projects knock you down

As a construction worker in Massachusetts, you already most likely realize that you frequently put your life on the line. Compliance with safety regulations is essential in this occupation. Your employer plays a big role in ensuring your health and safety whenever you are on duty, and a part of that responsibility is to provide adequate safety training that will enable you to recognize hazards and know how to avoid injuries.

Construction includes roofing, roads, renovations and demolitions -- each with unique safety hazards, and safety protocols to suit each category must be in place. Demolition projects need as much planning and precautions as other construction work (if not more).

Safety precautions for demolition projects

Every step of the demolition process poses life-threatening hazards requiring specific precautions. Recognizing the dangers and applying the following measures may prevent you from suffering injuries:

  • Use personal protective equipment: Before a demolition project starts, you must make sure your employer provides the necessary PPE. Furthermore, make sure you understand exactly how to use the protection, and avoid complacency as the project progresses. Every stage can be dangerous, so continue wearing the work boots, hard hat, gloves, mask and whatever else is necessary to keep you safe.
  • Do not neglect the final sweep: Every room, closet, hallway and bathroom must undergo the final sweep to ensure nothing, and nobody, remains inside. The same applies to the surrounding areas where unauthorized individuals may gather to watch the demolition. The sweepers must all report to one allocated supervisor after each area is clear before demolition action can proceed.
  • Handling of explosive materials: It is vital that only qualified personnel handle explosives and other dangerous materials.
  • Secure ceilings that might collapse: Never enter the building before ensuring that all walkways and ceilings are stable and have the necessary support. This could prevent sudden collapses and severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Post-demolition risks: Too many construction accidents occur during the cleaning up process after the demolitions. Clearing the debris is a massive operation, posing numerous hazards. Discarding personal protective equipment at this stage can be detrimental to your safety as there will not only be debris and rubble to clear, but there might also be risks of contact with hazardous chemicals and fumes.

What to do if you are injured

Thousands of workers in Massachusetts suffer construction accident injuries every year. If you are a victim, make sure you get the necessary medical treatment and report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. The next step is to claim workers' compensation benefits, and experienced legal counsel can help with the navigation of benefits claims to get compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

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