With more than 2 million people working in the construction industry, it is no surprise that accidents occur as a result of the hazardous nature of the job leading to severe or fatal consequences.
Provided below is a list comprising of a few of the most familiar causes of construction accidents, in general.
#1. Accidental falls from heights
Construction workers are often compelled to work at heights without proper safety gears resulting in accidental slips and fall leading to fractures, broken bones, back and head injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accidental falls account for around 34% of on-the-job construction worker deaths.
Since construction sites are mainly a work in progress, there are often power lines, exposed wirings, and unfinished electrical systems around.
Accidental contact with these may lead to electrocution or even shock.
#3. Falling debris
Construction projects involving work on multiple levels commonly see incidents of debris, tools, and materials accidentally striking the workers below leading to injuries.
Injuries from falling debris could vary from minor bruises and cuts to serious head injuries that can even become fatal in certain circumstances.
#4. Damaged equipment
Defective work equipment can also result in catastrophic construction accidents leading to serious physical injuries that can even become fatal in extreme circumstances.
Note: In case of a workplace injury caused as a result of damaged equipment access, the employer should be responsible to compensate for the same.
#5. Tripping hazards
There are numerous hazards in the construction industry including the likes of dangerous chemicals, sharp equipment, open wired cables, and other similar objects.
A further hazard to remember is the hazard of falling into holes or tripping over cables as a result of the hazards mentioned above. This can easily inflict painful injuries on the victim with long-lasting effects.
#6. Job site distractions
On-site distractions count as one of the commonest causes of construction accidents.
Talking on cell phones, casual chit chats, using music players, etc. can create distractions during work that may result in disastrous consequences.
A few key mentions…
- Overexertion (Hours of work without breaks in between can often result in accidents as a result of overexertion).
- Fires and explosions.
- Accidental wall collapses.
- Power tool accidents.
Common construction accident injuries
Common site injuries include the likes of:
- Eye injuries, leading to complete visual impairment in certain extreme circumstances,
- Knee and ankle injury,
- Broken bones,
- Shoulder, neck, or back injury,
- Exposure to toxic chemicals,
- Brain and head injuries.
How to keep construction accidents at bay
Holding daily safety meetings
If you are the employer, your primary duty is to ensure complete safety of your construction site more than anything else, in particular.
Employees must be briefed about the different safety measures of their work when it comes to each particular job site.
As the project progresses over time, the hazards also change. The project manager and the team leaders must ensure that the employees working on the job site are aware of these changes and are taking effective measures to protect themselves against the same. Daily safety meetings can help.
Using proper safety gears
Construction sites have a notorious reputation for unforeseen hazards and unpredictable accidents.
Proper protection is therefore needed for workers at all possible times. Some of the basic safety gears are inclusive of things like:
- Safety glasses for eyes,
- Hearing protections,
- Slip-resistant boots,
- Gas masks (depending on the circumstances),
- Heavy duty gloves, and
- Standard safety apparels.
Proper reflective clothing
You should always provide high-visibility clothing (including reflective vests) to each of your on-duty workers to reduce the odds of a vehicle accident on the scene.
Here’s an example apparel for your reference:
Making your workers aware of the possible hazards in a construction site
Some of the most common hazards on a construction site include the likes of falling debris, open electrical wirings, accidental slips and falls from heights.
Make sure your employees are aware of the same. A little bit of awareness can go a long way indeed.
Recent years have seen a huge number of interesting innovations designed to make the construction industry safer and more efficient, on the whole.
The virtual reality technology can help managers view a mock-up of the project way ahead of time. This helps a lot in saving a considerable amount of money, hassle, and time in the process.
It also helps in the identification of safety problems in advance, thereby helping to keep them at bay in the best possible manner.
Reporting any dangerous working condition
Always ask your workers to report dangerous conditions (if any) to the authority ASAP. Stress more on the importance of this step to reduce any chances of neglect.
Ensuring proper maintenance of tools and machinery
Make your workers aware of the fact that they should always check the condition of their tools or gadgets before using the same for their job.
It would do you even more good if you can keep all your key tools and machinery on a regular inspection schedule.
Keep your workers away from the sunlight to minimize fatigue (if possible)
Direct sunlight is one of the primary causes of fatigue in workers which can very well lead to minor to catastrophic accidents as a result of overexertion.
Whenever possible, try to keep them away from the sun. You can also use long sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and various other skin protectors as a part of their uniform to protect them from direct sunlight.
Regular breaks in between sessions
Make sure your workers take regular breaks in between to reduce the chances of accidents to the bare minimum.
This can also increase your productivity, on the whole.
So that’s basically it. Hope the comprehensive list of tips and tricks above come in helpful for your purpose. Stay healthy and stay safe.