Construction sites are inherently dangerous. Special attention must be taken to keeping construction sites safe. In order to accomplish this vital objective, understanding what are the most commonplace types of construction site accidents is crucial. These are:
- falls from scaffolding
- slips and falls
- falling objects
- caught between objects
- explosions and fires
- machinery accidents
- vehicle collision
- trench collapse
Protecting Workers from Injury
The stark reality is that a vast majority of construction site accidents can be avoided. A key way of guarding against construction site accidents is proactive prevention. High on the list of tactics to employ when it comes to protecting against accidents is construction site safety analysis and training.
Falls from Scaffolding
An alarming 34 percent of all construction site deaths stem from falls from scaffolding and crew members working at heights, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A considerable number of construction workers are injured every year because of falls. These accidents occur when workers are not properly secured when working on scaffolding. They also occur when scaffolding is not properly placed or assembled in the first instance and collapses, resulting in injuries and deaths.
Slips and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls account for a considerable number of construction site accidents in the United States every year. The reality is that a construction site is inherently hazardous. The key is to strive to minimize these risks, which includes stowing tools and equipment when not in use and properly marking potential hazards on a job site.
By definition, a construction site is a work in progress. As a result, there are likely to be exposed to power lines and wires as well as electrical systems. If a worker comes into contact with an exposed power source, that individual can face the prospect of serious injury or even death. Visitors to construction sites are also vulnerable to these types of risks, which underscores the need to properly mark these hazards.
Whether from scaffolding or beams, falling objects is a persistent cause of injuries at construction sites. This includes injuries to workers, visitors, and passersby. Common items that end up falling and injuring people include tools and materials not properly secured on scaffolding or on a beam
Caught Between Objects
An alarming number of people are crushed at construction sites every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes workers who end up pinned and then crushed between equipment and some sort of fixed surface.
Explosions and Fires
Once again, because a construction site by definition is a work in progress, exposed gas pipes, gas leaks, and incomplete electrical systems present hazards. Unfortunately, these hazards include explosions and fires. When a worksite explosion occurs, it more than likely will impact the surrounding area and cause injuries not only to construction workers but to innocent people in the surrounding area.
Overexertion and heat stroke are common issues at construction sites, according to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. Because of the nature of construction, the work oftentimes is undertaken during the warmer months of the year which heightens the risk of heat stroke.
Machinery accidents of different types also result in what prove to be serious injuries at construction sites. These include everything from cranes and bulldozers to nail guns and jackhammers. The most important step to take to lessen the incident of machinery accidents is to ensure that workers obtain proper training and have that training refreshed from time to time.
Vehicles of different types run in and around construction sites. Unfortunately, due to a line of site issues and people not paying full attention, vehicle collisions and incidents involving vehicles hitting pedestrians are fairly common. Victims are not only workers on site but also visitors and pedestrians and other motorists at the perimeter of the job site.
Finally, collapsing trenches represent one of the top 10 most frequently occurring construction site accidents. Trench collapses were one of the reasons why construction companies heightened security around sites during nonworking hours. Unfortunately, in the past, not only were workers victims of trench collapses but so were people who trespassed onto a job site.
As was noted previously, by appreciating what are the most common types of construction site accidents, more effective protocols can be enacted to protect against these situations. As a result, a reduction in job site injuries and deaths can be achieved.