Construction sites are very busy places. Because of that they can also be very dangerous. OSHA regulations are helping to reduce the number of accidents that happen on construction sites. Unfortunately they are not always followed and accidents still happen. Knowing the types of accidents that can occur can help you avoid injury. Let’s look at eight of the most common injury risks.
Falls from heights make up 1/3 of fatalities on construction sites. Common risks include incorrectly set up scaffolding, open sides, floor holes, unsecured ladders and unguarded steel bars (resulting in impaling). By law scaffold set up must be overseen and reviewed by a ‘competent’ person. It is amazing how often this is not done though.
“Construction sites are full of heavy tools and materials,” said a commercial HVAC company spokesperson. “Some of these are so heavy that not even a hard hat can protect you. If a construction area has not been correctly fenced off, or something falls from a crane that reaches beyond that even pedestrians can be hit by falling objects.”
Excavation and Trenching Accidents
The risk of death to construction workers in trenching and excavation sites is considered to be 112 percent higher than in any other area. So extra precaution against cave-ins and similar accidents is advised in these scenarios.
Exposed high voltage overhead or underground power lines can easily result in death. Faulty power tools, leads, and exposed wires are also responsible for electrocution injuries.
Construction sites are full of dangerous chemicals. Overexposure, inhalation, explosions and fires are some of the possible chemical injuries.
Back injuries from heavy and incorrect lifting are among the most frequent injuries. RSI injuries from repetitive work are also common,” said a spokesperson for a carpet cleaning company.
Many injuries can be caused by heavy equipment. Machinery may be faulty or topple over. Carelessness with cranes causes many injuries. Forklifts and skid steers are often the culprit of injuries.
Fire and Explosions
While less common there is always the risk of fires and explosions, mainly from faulty equipment or chemicals.
Injuries range from bumps and bruises to poisoning and death. But those are not the only dangers. Severe injuries can mean weeks, months or more off work, with growing medical bills. Some workers are never able to return to the same job again.