Despite the snow and low temperatures, construction never really stops in Pennsylvania during the winter. It just slows down. However, when spring comes, construction projects explode all over the state. Workers may have more projects available than they can commit to during the spring building boom.
However, not everything about the construction industry in the spring is positive for the professionals involved. The high levels of precipitation during the spring can make construction work more dangerous. So can shifts in the soil after freezing and thawing.
Electrical shorts and slip-and-fall accidents are constant risks at construction sites in rainy weather. However, perhaps the biggest concern is how all of that rain can make trenching even more dangerous during the excavation process.
Trenching is a leading cause of injury and death
Caught-between incidents involved not just when people get struck by machinery but also when an excavated trench collapses, trapping a worker. According to information analyzed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), excavation accidents are one of the top risks on construction sites.
Recently thawed soil soaked with precipitation after a spring rainstorm may be particularly unstable and prone to sliding or collapsing under equipment. Both those at the surface level and those in the trench are at extreme risk if something like that happens.
Having the right safety gear and recognizing how precipitation increases the risks on the job can help construction workers stay safe despite seasonal changes to their job risks. Knowing your rights if you are injured could help you get workers’ compensation benefits if a trench collapse leaves you unable to work.