Construction work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs around. Construction site fatalities rose 5 percent in 2019, making it the highest number of worker fatalities since 2007. Despite all the safety measures you take, accidents and sometimes fatalities can still happen. Why? There are many reasons—machine malfunction, and most commonly, human error. Below we will look at the ten most common construction site accidents.
1. Falls from Heights
Falls from heights are the number one accident risk on construction sites. It is listed as one of the “Fatal Four” by OSHA (fatal four, meaning construction site accidents that can lead to death).
2. Defective Equipment
Even if you work on a construction site that crosses all their “t’s” and dots all their “I’s” equipment, malfunction can happen. You hope that the tools and equipment are in safe and functional condition. Sadly, this is not always the case either, resulting in injury.
3. Slip, Trip, Falls
Most construction site accidents result in simple slips, trips, and falls. A construction site is a jumble of holes in the ground, construction debris, waste, equipment, wires; you name it. If you are not alert, accidents can and will happen.
4. Electric Shock
Electrocution is another common construction site accident. There is a lot of electrical equipment used on construction sites, and if it is handled wrong or is defective, it can result in electric shock damage. Electric shocks can lead to burns, scarring, long-term nerve damage, and even death.
5. Falling Objects
Those hard hats are not just a fashion statement, and there is a reason they are an OSHA regulation and must be worn. Workers working from above can drop tools or other materials that can come crashing down on you below, resulting in significant injury.
6. Vehicle Accidents
Sadly, around an average of 93 construction site workers are injured; some even die due to being hit by a motor vehicle or construction vehicle on highway construction sites.
7. Manual Handling Injury
Manual handling injuries result when personnel attempt to move an object that is too heavy or does not apply the specific skills they were taught in training to properly lift said heavy object, resulting in many construction site accidents.
8. Crane or Hoist Accidents
Accidents using cranes or hoists are essential construction equipment. However, a lack of training, operator errors, and other circumstances can result in significant accidents on building sites.
9. Exposure to Toxins
Construction site workers often have to work with hazardous chemicals. Not wearing proper safety equipment and spills can end with chemical burns or respiratory distress.
10. Pinned Accidents
Pinning accidents or “being caught between accidents” is another common construction site injury that leaves a construction worker pinned or caught between an object. It is also marked as one of OSHA’s “Fatal Four.”
Most workplace accidents can be avoided if basic safety procedures are adopted. For example, clipping your safety harnesses correctly when working near an open drop, installing/maintaining suitable guardrails and worksite safeguards, as well as good site housing keeping practices, are all measures to reduce the risk of injury before a tragedy occurs. However, if an accident occurs, you must speak up and report it to your site supervisors and the Department.