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Preventing construction accidents: safe digging awareness

Spring is finally, if a bit grudgingly, here. The Baltimore Orioles are poised for their home opener at Camden Yards - a sure sign of spring.

After a natural slow-down in the winter, the construction season will be getting fully underway as well. This is why, for the sixth straight year, state authorities across the country are recognizing April as Safe Digging Month.

The timing is understandable. It isn't only home improvement projects in the backyard that get a jumpstart in the spring. It's also large-scale construction projects. And regardless of the size of the project, digging creates a risk of coming in contact with live wires, pipelines or cables that can cause serious injury.

Given the nature of their work, construction workers are at particular risk of these injuries. After all, they are out there on job sites, doing the digging needed to build residential or commercial developments. And this can expose them to underground power lines and other objects that put them at risk of harm.

In Maryland and throughout the nation, that is why authorizes encourage people who are pursuing projects for which digging is required to contact utility companies in advance. It just makes sense to take that precaution and find out from the utility providers what may be under there.

To be sure, even with the best precautions, sometimes construction workers do get injured on the job. Digging is of course only one of the dangers on construction sites; there are also falls and other hazards. In those cases, workers' compensation benefits are generally available to employees who suffered injury in the scope of their employment.

Source: "Call before you dig: April is safe digging month," WVVA.com, Baily Gillespie, 4-4-13

To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on construction accidents.

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