If you work in a construction zone, you must do your best to be careful because construction site accidents are rampant. According to the OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 20% of job-related deaths occur in the construction industry. On top of that, more construction workers suffer from work-related injuries each year.
This data may not surprise you because it is fairly obvious that a construction zone is extremely hazardous. You have nails, chainsaws, staple guns, cranes, etc. When not properly handled, all of these can result in injuries ranging from minor abrasions and burns to fatal electrocutions or falls. And even with proper care and handling, accidents can still happen.
It is vital to know what these accidents are so you can be aware of the risks when you enter a construction zone. Understanding how these common accidents happen in construction areas can help you mitigate disasters. More importantly, it will give you the presence of mind to act fast when a serious accident occurs.
Fifteen Most Frequent Construction Accidents
Injuries in a construction zone are common because of the many hazardous types of equipment that workers need to boost performance and productivity. In addition, you have live electricity and gravity to contend with, apart from risky tools.
For example, when poorly trained co-workers make one wrong move from the 4th floor, the perilous fall can result in traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, or death. The damage sustained from this kind of workplace accident can be life-altering, depending on the severity of the situation.
Although there are numerous ways for a construction worker to get hurt on the job, you will find many common accidents regularly documented in the emergency room. For example, the top fifteen most frequent construction site accidents are as follows:
Falls From Great Heights
This is the leading accident in a construction area. It should not come as a surprise because it is common for construction workers to perform their duties perched on a high area like scaffoldings, rooftops, ladders, etc. This can result in physical injuries from minor scrapes to serious fractures like spinal cord injuries. The severity usually depends on the height of the fall and where the worker lands. Sometimes, luck also plays a role as some have gone miraculously unscathed.
Construction workers don a hard hat to prevent head trauma from falling debris. However, this plastic covering can only do so much. When heavy tools, building materials, equipment, pieces of scaffolding, or other supplies fall on a person, it can do severe damage; more so when the object comes from a significant height. It can even result in fatality.
It is common to find exposed, live wires in a construction zone. In addition, you will also encounter unfinished electrical systems, incomplete circuit breakers, unfinished receptacles, or downed power lines. On top of that, there are electrical equipment, lighting fixtures, and other power issues to deal with. For these mentioned reasons, construction workers are at risk for electrical shocks or electrocution, resulting in arrhythmia or heart attack.
A live wire may not cause an electric shock, but it can still create a spark or overheat the system. When this happens, something can explode, and there will be a fire. Hence, construction workers are prone to severe burns.
Construction sites are often messy. You will encounter tools, equipment, materials, and other debris lying around. As a result, workers often trip on them. Moreover, there can be material spillage like oil, which can be slippery. Slips can be dangerous, resulting in a bone fracture. It can also result in lacerations and abrasions.
Fires or Explosions
When live wires create a spark, it can result in a massive explosion. Similarly, gas leaks can also be fatal. For example, paint thinner is highly flammable. Carbon monoxide is also toxic. The presence of both in an enclosed construction space is deadly. It also does not help that there are many flammable items on a construction site like:
It is common to find trenches in construction areas. After all, workers need to dig deep to lay down the foundation of any building. However, the massive excavations make the surrounding areas unstable. As a result, the ground could collapse on the workers, resulting in devastating injuries. To make things worse, people can be trapped or buried underneath piles of rubble with no way out.