Construction Accidents: The 10 Most Common Construction Site Injuries

construction accidents
Did you know that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 77,000 construction site accidents each year? By nature, construction is a dangerous profession. Using heavy machinery and working at heights are two of the ways that workers get injured on a building site. If you work in the construction industry, you’ll have a good understanding of all the potential dangers and the most common building accidents. Accidents happen in every line of work. But there are no industries that are as severe as construction. When the risks are high, it’s down to everyone to ensure that safety procedures are in place and followed. If they’re not, there could be fatal outcomes. Here are the top ten construction accidents and what you can do to avoid them.

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1. Overexertion

One of the most common injuries that people working on building sites experience relates to the physical nature of the work found in the construction industry. Workers within this industry often have injuries that relate to overexertion and strain.

This could mean that workers have muscle strains due to lifting heavy items. To avoid this, it is essential that there is suitable equipment on hand for lifting and moving heavy objects. All employees need training in safe lifting and handling techniques.

Construction workers often work long hours in all weather conditions. This leaves them open to extreme cold and heat. When a worker spends too long in the sun, there may be a strong chance of developing heat stroke.

It is advisable that in times of high heat that workers find jobs within the shade. If they have to work in exposed conditions, then it should be for a minimal amount of time possible, and employees are rotated to different tasks.

2. Slips and Trips

Of the accidents recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 22,000 occurrences of slips and trips each year. According to another report published in 2006, 18% of all injuries are slips and trips.

As this is one of the most common construction site accidents, it is essential that everyone takes appropriate measures to prevent them from happening.

Construction companies can help to reduce the risk of slips and trips on construction sites by maintaining clear walkways. They should also help by providing employees with suitable work boots.

Workers can cut the chances of slipping or tripping while working by wearing the correct footwear, and by clearing up or reporting spillages and trip hazards when they see them.

3. Falling Objects

There is a high risk of falling objects or debris on construction sites with many levels or where workers are using scaffolding.

The type of objects that are commonly dropped from a height include tools and building materials.

Although it is hard to prevent falling objects, it is possible to cut the potential damage they may cause. By clearing the area under ladders and scaffolding and putting up warning signs, it will be possible to stop people walking or working under high-risk areas.

In addition to this, employers should ensure that they provide hard hats. They should also ensure that employees wear these at all times.

4. Getting Crushed Between Objects

There are a great many dangerous objects that could cause a worker to become crushed. These may include machinery, building materials, or tools.

Being crushed between objects accounts for around 5% of all workplace fatalities. Employers should be aware of the dangers and carry out regular risk assessments on their construction sites.

In addition to this, they should put in place full and thorough training for employees and provide appropriate safety equipment.

Construction workers can cut the risk of injury from this type of accident by wearing protective clothing at all times, and by adhering to health and safety guidelines.

5. Electrocutions

On any worksite, there may exposed wiring and powerlines. During the construction of buildings, electrical cables will be laid. This leads to electrocution becoming one of the more common construction injuries.

Coming into contact with any live electrical power cables could result in severe burns, shock, or even death.

To cut the risk of electrocutions, construction companies should ensure that no live wires be left unattended. In addition to this, only qualified workers should work with electrical installations.

Training all employees on the dangers associated with electricity on a building site is essential.

6. Machinery Related Accidents

Construction sites need heavy machinery. But, from jackhammers through to bulldozers, there are all kinds of dangerous construction mishaps waiting to happen.

From lacerations and cuts, through to broken bones, paralysis, and death, machinery on construction sites needs managing in an appropriate manner.

This means that it should only ever used by someone suitably trained and, in many cases, licensed to use it.

In addition, all equipment and machinery should be regularly checked to ensure it is safe for use.

7. Collapsing Trenches

Trenches are often needed on construction sites. Often, these will form parts of foundations. On larger builds, a channel can be quite deep.

If a trench collapses with a worker inside, it could cause them to get hit by materials or tools, or it could lead to them getting crushed by the dirt.

While safety measures should be in place to prevent trenches from collapsing, ensuring that protective clothing, including helmets, is worn at all times.

8. Falls From High Heights

Accidents in construction sites can be fatal. One such type of accident is a fall from a height.

Over half of all fatalities relating to falling from a height occurred in the construction industry.

Construction workers very often need to work at great heights. This might be on scaffolding, or it could be on ladders.

There are several ways that employers can prevent their employees from falling from great heights. One way is to carry out regular safety checks on ladders and scaffolding.

Another way of protecting employees is to ensure there are handrails fitted on all ladders and scaffolding. In addition to this, providing safety harnessing will provide employees with extra support in the event of a loss of footing.

Providing protective equipment such as helmets will be essential in preventing severe injuries in the event of an accident where someone has fallen from a great height.

9. Getting Hit by Vehicles

There are several different types of vehicles that are common on construction sites. From vans through to steamrollers, bulldozers, cranes, and trucks, there are plenty of dangers when it comes to getting hit by vehicles.

Because there are generally not specified road layouts on many construction sites, it can be hard to maintain the rules of the highway code. While nobody goes out of their way to cause or be involved in a vehicular accident, precautions should still be taken.

Firstly, a full risk assessment needs to be carried out, assessing all vehicles that are allowed access to the construction site. All drivers must be registered and qualified to operate the vehicle that they are using.

Regular refresher training should be provided, and all vehicles must follow specific rules when they are being driven on site.

Vehicles should be fitted with horns, sirens, and hazard warning lights so that the operator can alert passers-by to their presence.

For all employees and visitors working on-site, there should be signs warning them of construction vehicles crossing.

10. Fires and Explosions

There are many things that can cause a fire or an explosion on a building site. From electrical wiring that is exposed through to leaking pipes and gasses, all it takes is for a spark to go off in the wrong place, and it could result in any nearby employees or visitors being seriously injured or killed.

Full risk assessments should be carried out regularly.

At any time when unattended, gas and mains electrics should be switched off. Full health and safety training should be provided for all employees. This should alert them to the risks that could cause a fire or explosion, and how to keep themselves from injury in the event of one.

Where to Turn If You Have Been Affected by Construction Accidents

When construction workers are injured as a result of an accident in their workplace, it may mean that they will be unable to work. This could put them, and their family, under considerable financial burden.

If you’ve been injured as a result of these construction accidents, then you may be able to get help.

Get in touch by calling 800-897-8440 to find the best accident and injury doctors near you.

 

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