Construction workers have a highly dangerous workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has reported that one in ten construction workers are injured every year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are roughly 150,000 construction site accidents each year.
These staggering numbers reflect an extremely high-risk environment. Surrounded by building materials, machinery, and tools, construction workers can encounter a hazard at any given time.
The following are the most common types of construction accidents:
- Falls from great heights or scaffolding – Construction workers are typically required to work in high places with the use of scaffolding or ladders. According to the Centers for Construction Research and Training, falls are the greatest cause of fatal construction injuries. The most-violated OSHA standard is fall protection.
- Falling objects – Construction workers are at risk of being struck by objects from above, such as tools or building materials. Even if you are wearing proper safety equipment, brain and spinal injuries can still occur.
- Slips and falls – Whether they are caused by tools lying around the construction site or uneven ground, there are many hazards on a construction site which could result in a dangerous trip, slip, or fall.
- Machinery accidents – Construction works are required to use heavy machinery to perform their job duties. From bulldozers to cranes, a mistake or accident with these tools can result in a serious or fatal injury.
- Getting caught in-between objects or materials – Whether a limb gets caught in a piece of equipment or gets trapped between immovable objects, there are several ways a construction worker might suffer from a fatal caught in-between accident.
- Fires and explosions – Construction sites are typically riddled with hazardous conditions, such as flammable chemicals, exposed wiring, and leaking pipes that could result in fires and explosions.
- Electrocutions – Major causes of injury and fatality from these types of accidents involve exposed wires, defective machinery, and electrically charged metal objects.
- Trench or building collapse – This occurs when a trench that is being built collapses on the workers inside. A building that is being demolished or that is under construction can suddenly collapse.
- Vehicle-related accidents – Construction projects require trucks, earthmoving equipment, and other large transportation vehicles. Lack of training and poor vehicle maintenance are the most common causes of these accidents.
- Overexertion – Hours of hard and exposure to hot or humid conditions can cause workers to overexert themselves, making them more susceptible to injuries.