Common Construction Work Site Injuries
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), construction is one of the most dangerous industries. In fact, the construction industry is responsible for approximately 20 percent of worker fatalities. According to OSHA, construction sites have the infamous “fatal four” causes of injuries or fatalities.
According to OSHA, fall protection violations are the leading cause of safety violation citations. Many different construction tasks and jobs involve working above the ground. For example, construction workers regularly use stairs, ladders or scissor lifts to complete certain tasks. Wet or slippery floors or stairs can cause serious slip and fall injuries. Many construction workers must also work on platforms, which are sometimes unstable. In addition to this, construction workers also work on roofs. Failure to follow proper fall protection procedures will result in serious injuries or death.
Struck by an Object
Construction workers are at constant risk of being struck by falling objects. For example, cranes and hoists are continually transferring materials between the ground and higher building levels. Most struck-by injuries are caused by heavy construction equipment. While construction workers are required by OSHA to wear hard hats, heavy materials or objects will still cause serious damage or death. Construction workers are also at risk of being struck by flying objects and materials. This could result from power tools or other workers pulling or pushing materials. Finally, construction workers are also exposed to being struck by moving machinery and heavy equipment.
Electrocution is a serious danger to not only electricians, but also construction laborers, carpenters and other workers. For example, exposure to electrical wiring is responsible for almost 60 percent of electrician deaths. This is because of direct or indirect contact with live wiring and equipment, such as circuit breakers and transformers. On the other hand, overhead power lines are responsible for almost 60 percent other construction worker fatalities. In addition to this, improper ground-fault protection and use of cords and equipment are also common causes of electrocutions. The risk of electrocution can be reduced through following lock-out-tag-out (LOTO) and hazard communication (HAZCOM) procedures.
Caught-in or Between Objects
Construction sites are full of dangerous situations or environments that can result in a worker being caught-in or between objects. For example, workers can be stuck between moving pipes and deep excavation holes. Confined spaces also represent a major threat to construction workers. Confined spaces are any enclosed area that is difficult to enter or exit. For example, crawl spaces, metal tanks and silos are all confined spaces. Workers are in danger of being exposed to toxic chemicals, asphyxiation and explosions. Failure to follow proper lock-out-tag-out and hazard communication procedures with equipment and machine will result in construction workers being caught-in machinery. This can result in amputations or even death.
While follow the safety rules will reduce the risk or harm or injury, accidents still happen. If you are injured while working on the job, seek medical attention and file a workers’ comp claim. If necessary, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney.