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3 hidden hazards for construction workers

Construction workers face countless dangers on the job every day. Some of those hazards are obvious - for example, scaffolding, ladders and heavy machinery. But others are not so obvious. They may not come to light until an accident has already taken place.

Although construction site managers have a responsibility to ensure safe worksites, it's ultimately up to you - the worker on the ground - to watch out for these hidden hazards and take steps to protect yourself.

Commonly overlooked dangers include:

  1. Heatstroke: You can quickly become overheated while working at an outdoor jobsite, especially during Iowa's hot and humid summer months. Stuffy protective gear and high levels of physical exertion only increase the risk of potentially life-threatening heatstroke. Watch out for warning signs such as headache, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, confusion and absence of sweating. You can also protect yourself by taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated.
  2. Repetitive motion: Doing the same thing over and over again - whether using a jackhammer, lifting heavy objects or pounding nails - can put a lot of strain on your body. Many types of chronic and painful injuries can be traced to repetitive stress. If your job involves this type of hazard, you can protect yourself by performing the work in a safe, ergonomic manner.
  3. Falling objects: You're probably well aware of the perils that go along with working at great heights. But when you're on the ground, it's easy to overlook the equally threatening danger of dropped objects. Getting struck by an object is a leading cause of injury and death among construction workers. For this reason, it's important to always wear your hard hat and stay alert to what's going on around you.

By paying attention to all potential dangers at your worksite - not just the obvious ones - you can avoid injuries and stay safe on the job.

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