Construction workers in Ohio may not realize that their senses might provide more protection than their personal protective equipment. Four of our five senses — hearing, sight, touch and smell — can serve as warnings of imminent danger. Sight is likely the most critical sense when it comes to observing potential hazards. However, construction accidents can occur if workers are so focused on the respective tasks that they fail to see signs of danger. Alertness and awareness of the surroundings are crucial on a dangerous construction site.
Hearing is equally important, even among the many different sounds typical to construction sites. If each worker is familiar with the sounds surrounding their workstations, their sense of hearing will quickly warn them of hazards when operational sounds change. When the sound of drilling through concrete or a rotary hammer suddenly changes, the hearing sense will cause alarm, and if each worker pays attention to their own senses, many injuries might be avoided.
Workers may think that the wearing of ear protection could prevent them from hearing imminent dangers need to pay attention to their senses of touch and smell. Working with a power tool has a familiar feel in the operator’s hands, and awareness of any changes in the feeling can be a timely warning, even if the worker is wearing ear protection. The same applies to the sense of smell, which can notice strange, unfamiliar smells of chemicals, burning of fuel or oil; even electricity malfunctions have a distinctive smell.
While a workers’ senses can serve as red flags when hazards are present, accidents will continue to occur on any dangerous construction site. When that happens, the Ohio workers’ compensation insurance program will likely provide benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages. The claims process could be complicated, but injured workers are free to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.