While firefighting, peacekeeping, and armed services are among the most dangerous professions, mines, factories, and construction sites are some of the riskiest workplaces in the world for civilians. According to the National institutes of Health (NIH), construction workers are injured at a 71% higher rate than the national average for workers across every industry in the United States.
photo credit: Alexandar Pasaric / Pexels
With these alarming stats simply acting as the tip of the iceberg, it is important for both workers and employers to be aware of the most common injuries and accidents in construction sites.
Struck-by/Crushed In-Between Vehicles
Being struck or crushed by a moving construction vehicle has resulted in some of the most gruesome injuries and fatalities in the past. Fortunately, motion/object detection tech, better awareness, and wider usage of reflective vests have all reduced the rate of fatalities from such accidents in recent years. Nevertheless, thousands of people still receive minor or major struck-by/crushing injuries at construction sites even today.
Practice spatial awareness by never placing yourself in between a moving vehicle and a stationary object (a wall or a stationary vehicle), or two moving vehicles.
Falling from an Elevated Position
Falls from elevated platforms are by far the most common cause for serious injuries and deaths at a construction site. Despite being so common and lethal, most of these accidents are considered to be preventable injuries and often result from either the employer, or the worker violating safety compliance regulations.
Fall related injuries at a construction site can be avoided by:
- Mandatory usage of personal fall protection equipment such as lanyards, harnesses, and self-retracting lifelines
- Installation of parameter protection measures like guard rails around a potential fall hazard
- Labelling and marking surface/floor gaps and gap covers
- Usage of ladders that comply with the OSHA/ANSI standards
If you’ve been injured while working on a construction site, you should speak to a construction accident lawyer like Jacob Oresky. Even if the injury is purely accidental, you might be entitled to a lot more than you think.
Crushed/Caught in a Trench
Next in line is another set of terrifying accidents which occur when someone is buried alive, crushed, or trapped inside a trench on site. Anyone entering a 5-feet+ trench must be accompanied by someone who can keep a lookout for dangers. Also, there must be protective shields and markers around the trench. Sloping/shoring is also advisable for making trenches safer, if they are deep enough.
Temporary powerlines needed on site account for most of the accidental electrocutions. The danger can come from:
- Falling overhead lines during high winds and storms
- Coming in contact with an open line on the ground
- Coming in contact with a high-tension line above ground
- Mobile power tools without proper insulation and grounding
Equipment related electrocutions can be minimized by using ground-fault circuit interrupters, but the rest is all about spatial and locational awareness.
These are the “fatal four” most common causes for construction site accidents, as highlighted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Prevention is possible, but just in case it is too late for that, don’t forget to seek legal counsel for expediting and maximizing your due benefits and workplace injury compensations.