Construction is often considered as one of the most dangerous lines of work. That’s because, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the fatal injury rate for construction workers is higher than the national average across all industries. And with an estimated 252,000 construction sites across the nation, it’s not difficult to see why the rate is so high.
That’s why we wanted to highlight a few construction site dangers for our readers in this week’s blog post. The hope is that it will give you a better understanding of the dangers present in your work environment and help you avoid a potential workplace accident later on.
Falls. Whether it’s from a piece of scaffolding or a ladder, falls are considered one of the most common accidents for construction workers. Depending on the height you fall from, what you land on, and if you are wearing any safety equipment, your injuries could range from minor bumps and bruises to fatal injuries.
Scaffolding collapses. Just like falls, scaffolding collapses are also incredibly dangerous because there is a higher risk of impalement when falling with collapsed scaffolding. If the scaffolding was not properly maintained or was constructed by someone who did not have proper training, your employer could be held liable for any injuries or deaths caused by an accident.
Electrical shock. Electrocution is also another danger. This can happen when you come in contact with exposed wiring that has electricity flowing through it. Because there is the risk of death with electrocution, it’s important for employers to take all of the necessary precautions to keep workers safe, including providing protective equipment and training.
Strikes to the head. Objects falling or striking your head is also another danger at most construction sites. Injuries can range from serious to fatal and depend heavily on the weight and size of the object and whether the worker was wearing protective head gear. It’s because of this danger that a majority of construction sites require hard hats.
Repetitive motion injuries. Construction is hard work and often puts a lot of strain on joints and muscles. And if this strain is constantly or repetitively applied, it can lead to serious and even debilitating injuries. Being aware of how your work is affecting your body will help you recognize when you are nearing the point of injury so you can stop before it occurs.
Source: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Worker Safety Series, Construction,” Accessed Aug. 21, 2014