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OSHA week highlights safety for highway workers

Highway workers at California face a number of risks on the job that are highlighted each year during Safe+Sound Week, a project of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In the year 2016 alone, 69 highway workers were killed and 10,700 injured out of a total of 319,300 employed in the industry. The week draws attention to ways in which management, workers and others on the job, including government, can reduce the risk of workplace accidents and injuries.

By addressing workplace safety issues, companies can help save lives and keep workers on the job. There are a number of issues that frequently arise for highway workers, including a lack of written information for employees, the lack of an energy control program and the failure to instruct employees in how to recognize and avoid safety problems. In addition, power tools are often not properly marked, so workers may choose the wrong jack or another tool for a particular task.

When workers were killed on the job in 2016, they were most frequently hurt by car accidents as vehicles crashed into them while working on the side of the road. In addition, workers were killed when they were struck by objects or equipment or when falling from a height to a lower level. There were also a number of non-fatal workplace accidents among highway employees, often caused by overwork and overexertion, falls, being hit by equipment or objects, slipping and tripping or motor vehicle crashes. Companies can work to improve the safety of their workforce by promoting good health and safety practices.

Workers who have been injured on the job have a right to pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result. A workers' compensation lawyer may help injured workers to protect their rights, appeal any benefits denials and strive to ensure that they present a strong case.

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