The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have collected data on construction zone accidents to determine how these types of accidents happen. The data reveal that the fatal injury rate in the construction industry is higher than the national average in all other industries. Statistics and data also indicate that these are the four most common workplace accidents that kill construction workers. Read on to learn more about the hazards construction workers often face.
Falls are the leading cause of construction fatalities. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, of 1,008 construction fatalities, 320 are due to falls from heights – which could be prevented. When construction workers have to work from heights, employers have a responsibility to ensure that all projects are planned with safety first. Having the right equipment can make a big difference in preventing workers from falling.
Here are some ways to avoid construction zone fall accidents:
- Make sure you are wearing the appropriate equipment, such as a harness, to prevent falls.
- Keep the perimeter of the construction zone secured with barriers that prevent you from falling.
- Cover openings on the floor and clearly label them with warning signs to prevent falls.
- Follow protocols and instructions for the proper use of scaffolds and ladders.
Construction workers can suffer many types of accidents from being struck by equipment, machines, or vehicles. These are some of the most common dangers:
- Flying objects
- Falling objects
- Swaying objects
- Rolling objects
Here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of being hit by objects:
- Keep your eyes wide open and avoid positioning yourself between moving or stationary objects.
- Wear clothing that allows equipment and vehicle operators to see you well, such as reflective vests.
- Most of the accidents reported in construction zones are related to crane collapses or blows from falling parts or loads from cranes.
Get Caught Between Objects
Typically, these types of accidents happen when a worker is caught between two or more objects and is crushed or compressed as a result – for example, by getting their fingers caught in machinery or being trapped under a construction vehicle.
To avoid these types of accidents, it is essential to do the following:
- Never enter a trench or excavation area that does not have protective systems.
- Make sure the trench or excavation area is protected by:
- Access ramps
- Shoring systems
- Trench protection systems
Exposed power lines and cables are common in construction areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported 82 fatal construction accidents related to electrocutions in 2016. Construction zones that have areas with power lines should be protected from ground faults. A ground fault circuit interrupter will detect an unusual electrical current and cut off the electricity. Electrical outlets that are not part of permanent wiring without ground fault protection could pose a severe risk of electrocution.
When it comes to your safety, you can reduce the risk of electrocution by finding out where all electrical outlets are located before starting work. Be careful with power lines and avoid coming into contact with them when operating equipment. Keep a safe distance from all power lines. Before using tools and portable electrical equipment, make sure they are anchored or double insulated. When working on ladders, scaffolds, or other platforms, stay alert and assess potential electrical hazards. Hire a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer to represent you, if you have suffered any type of work injury, especially on a construction site.