Construction workers are put in potentially dangerous situations nearly every day. They are often expected to climb and work at great heights, use powerful equipment, as well as work near roadsides where there is a serious risk of accidents. All of this greatly increases the probability of work-related injuries for construction workers.
Fortunately, construction work injuries can be easily avoided with some effort on the employers part as well as some caution on the part of the worker. Here’s everything you need to know about construction work-related injuries and how they can be prevented. Read on.
Types of Construction Site Accidents
Working in construction comes with a vast array of hazards. In order to successfully prevent the most common construction site accidents, both employers and employees should understand the potential risks. Here are some of the most widespread construction work hazards:
Slips, trips, and falls
It is very common for construction workers to climb heights while working, whether it’s on roofs, scaffolding, or ladders. Falling accounts for as much as 34% of all construction site fatalities. In fact, slips and falls are not only extremely common in construction work, but they are also the most common work-related injury in any workplace.
A sudden trench collapse can result in severe head injuries, crush injuries, and suffocation. The collapsed soil can cut off the worker’s air supply, and there have been cases where a trench collapse buried workers alive.
Parts of scaffolding can collapse on a worker, causing severe injury. Additionally, other items such as bricks and heavy tools can fall from the scaffolding without warning, hitting the worker. Injuries caused by scaffolding collapse or falling items can range from minor bruising to severe head crushing injuries.
Construction site workers often work with power tools, generators, and exposed electrical wiring. These electrical systems are often unfinished, and may cause shocks and electrocution of varying intensity.
Preventing Construction Work-Related Injuries
Construction site project managers and workers need to work together and implement carefully thought out steps to keep the workplace safe. Here are some tips:
- Hold safety meetings: as a project manager, you should take steps to educate the employees on the hazards and the needed safety measures every day. If any regulations change, make sure to keep everyone up to date.
- Minimize nighttime work: there is a greater risk of accidents when the sun goes down. The workers are tired and visibility is significantly reduced. In order to avoid nighttime accidents, keep night work at a minimum.
- Use the right safety gear: wearing protective equipment is key to preventing construction work-related accidents. Safety gear includes hard hats, eye protection, slip-resistant boots, gloves, ear plugs, etc.
- Wear reflective clothing: workers should wear appropriate high-visibility clothing while working, especially at roadside sites. This will make them easier to spot by drivers and equipment operators.
- Take routine breaks: fatigue is one of the most common culprits of work-related injuries. Make sure that the workers get plenty of food, drink, and rest so that they can remain alert throughout the work day.
Many safety hazards can be prevented by taking appropriate steps to protect your team. Unfortunately, even if all the necessary precautions are taken, the possibility of construction site accidents is not erased. Either way, you should do everything in your power as an employer or project manager to keep your employees safe, as well as continually educate yourself on the current health and safety regulations. If you want to stay up to date, click here to learn more.