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Top 5 Workers’ Compensation Loss Prevention Tips for Contractors

Post written by Jim Montgomery, Business Sector Manager & Mark Rogina, Middle Market Underwriter

WFI-TCL-WorkersCompensation There are multiple factors that make the construction industry prone to workers’ compensation claims. One of these is the natural danger of the profession.

A contractor’s ability to utilize safety prevention and minimize this exposure is key to reducing injuries on the construction site. Below, we’ve provided five of the most prevalent injuries, and recommended prevention methods, to keep in mind at your site.

1. Falling From Heights

This can occur as a result of falling off of ladders and scaffolding. The injuries incurred from these events can be severe and result in permanent disabilities. Loss prevention strategies can include:

  • According to OSHA, all scaffolding should be able to support its own weight, as well as four times the maximum load. Connecting/support devices should also be able to support up to six times the maximum intended load.
  • Workers should be tied off whenever working above a height of six feet. This will prevent injury in the event of support structure failure.

2. Power Equipment Related Injury

These types of injuries are often severe in nature, and can be the result of a lack of training, lack of maintenance, or horseplay. Injuries can include machine tip-over or backing over accidents.To prevent injuries involving power equipment:

  • All equipment should be regularly maintained and checked for problems prior to use.
  • Safety equipment should always be used when working with any power equipment.

3. Electrocution

Electrocution injuries are nearly always fatal, which can result in large losses for the insurance company and large premiums for the contractor. However, these losses are fully preventable with the correct training and supervision. Properly preventing an electrocution injury includes:

  • Ensure the power has been turned off before beginning work at a job site.  It is also a good idea to keep a co-worker at the power shut off to ensure it is not accidentally turned on while work is being completed.
  • Make sure all electrical equipment has been grounded prior to beginning work.  All employees working around electrical equipment should also be wearing electrical current restrictive clothing, such as rubber gloves and boots.

4. Repetitive Motion

These losses are ones in which employees sustain injuries such as tendinitis, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, and trigger finger. The injuries often happen because an employee had to perform the same motion continuously throughout their career, eventually causing damage and preventing an employee from continuing on in their position.

  • When applicable, wear braces and support for backs, knees, and wrists to safeguard against heavy wear and tear of the body.
  • Practice job rotations to ensure that one worker is not always performing the same job. This will ensure that no one particular body part will be used too much.

5. Puncture Wounds

These wounds are typically low severity, but high in frequency. They can be caused by high pressured nail guns or sharp object placed in the ground, like stakes or rebar. To prevent puncture wounds, the following tips should be followed.

  • Practice preventative maintenance on all pneumatic nailers to reduce the chance of malfunction and keep the job site clean of all sharp materials.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as work boots and work gloves, to help shield the skin from sharp objects.

For more information, please contact your independent insurance agent, or visit OSHA for more facts on construction standards. 

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