Accidents are a regular occurrence at construction sites. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 3,945 workers died in the private sector in 2012. Seven hundred and seventy-five of them, or 19.6%, were at construction sites. These accidents usually occur when safety guidelines are not followed properly.
Here are the most common causes of construction accidents and some tips on how to prevent them:
Slips and Falls
The most prevalent cause of construction-related injuries are slips and falls. Construction workers who move sideways or backward without looking or use stairwells without guardrails are at risk. Construction sites can include a lot of loose wires, building equipment, and cracks in the ground, making it more possible for employees to slip or fall.
Because high altitudes are frequently involved in these incidents, the consequences can be disastrous. Improper or no fall protection is the leading cause of mortality in the construction industry. Falls can be mitigated by removing obstructions from walkways and promptly reporting hazards to construction-site management.
Electrical equipment is a regular part of construction sites. Electric sources are usually needed to operate electrical equipment. When such equipment becomes faulty, an operator could unknowingly come in contact with open electric sources. Workers are sometimes ignorant of power sources, from overhead and underground power lines to faulty receptacles and connectors, resulting in these sorts of accidents.
A construction worker hauling a metal ladder, for example, may collide with an overhead electricity wire. Electrocution accidents can be prevented by allowing only qualified personnel to handle electrical work. Maintenance of power sources and electrical equipment should also be done regularly.
Despite the apparent rule of never standing between a piece of heavy machinery and an immovable object, workers who are focused on their duties occasionally find themselves in such difficult situations. When a worker’s body part is trapped, squeezed, crushed or compressed between two or more objects, it is a caught in/between mishap. Cave-ins and collapses, and equipment rollovers are all examples of caught-in/-between accidents. Caught-in/-between accidents are freakier than other construction accidents but can be prevented by ensuring that only qualified individuals operate machinery.
When construction workers utilize the wrong sort of ladder, use a broken ladder, or put up a ladder improperly, ladder accidents can occur. Ladders might also be made incorrectly or on slippery or irregular surfaces. Workers may also slide on their feet, lose balance, or reach too far. Ladder accidents are one of the leading kinds of construction accidents and often lead to long-term disability.
When laboring on a construction site, you’d hope that the tools and equipment are safe and functional. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Staff may be given faulty or substandard equipment, resulting in mishaps. For example, power tool and mechanical injuries occur because of defective equipment or electrical failure. Therefore, employers should maintain and examine equipment and machinery regularly to avoid employees being injured due to faulty items.
Vehicular accidents are another kind of construction accident. Construction site vehicles like forklifts, dump trucks, and graders, pose a danger when improperly operated by inexperienced workers or when experienced operators commit errors. For example, accidents can occur when a forklift is rotated or moved with the weight elevated. Large trucks also frequently back up and collide with pedestrians. Road tracks should be well-lit and sign-posted with instructions to prevent vehicle accidents.
Construction accidents are a sad occurrence when they happen. However, construction site managers and workers should ensure that proper safety guidelines are followed to mitigate the chances of an accident.