One of the most common ways for workers to get hurt while on the job is in a construction accident. Construction involves lots of heavy machinery, physical labor, building materials, and often high voltage electricity and dangerous chemicals. If anything goes wrong and you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could suffer a serious workplace injury. If this happens, you might find yourself in need of workers’ compensation to make things right.
Construction Accidents and Excavations
One of the most common ways for a construction accident to happen is through an excavation project. Electric and other utility lines are often just beneath the surface of the ground or road, and accidentally hitting one can lead to a serious personal injury.
Accidents like these happen more often than you might think: According to Common Ground Alliance, an association of the members of the underground utility industry, an underground line is damaged every six minutes because excavators don’t do their research to find what’s there.
Spring Construction Includes Spike in Excavations
The dangers of underground utility lines are especially important to remember in the early spring. With the weather heating up, both private companies and town and city governments can start making repairs for the upcoming year and to fix issues that developed over the winter. Unfortunately, with more organizations doing excavations, the risk of workers suffering a terrible injury from hitting a utility line rises dramatically.
This is why the month of April has been designated as National Safe Digging Month. In Missouri, officials are stressing the importance of the Missouri One Call System, which lets contractors call a hotline before breaking ground to learn what utility lines they might hit.
Missouri’s One Call System Can Save Workers
Missouri’s One Call System is a free network that works 24/7. A law passed in 1986 required anyone about to start a digging project to notify the System three days before breaking ground. The System’s call center then relays word of the project to the utility companies that could be impacted by the excavation. These companies then have to use paint or colored flags to mark off all underground pipes, lines, and cables at the excavation site within two working days.
The System’s importance is stressed by Missouri Gas Energy: “Every digging project, even a small one like installing a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree or garden, warrants a call.”
St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Underground utilities are dangerous for contractors and construction workers. If you work for a construction company or another organization that does excavations and your boss doesn’t notify the Missouri One Call System of the project you’re working on, you’ll be digging blindly and risk a serious injury if you hit something.
If this happens, you deserve to be compensated for the injuries that you have suffered. This is where Missouri’s workers’ compensation law comes into play. However, making sure that you get the compensation that you deserve can still require an attorney. That’s where the workers’ compensation lawyers at the Smith Law Office can help. Contact us online or call our St. Joseph law office at (816) 875-9373.