By John Wilson
Accidents happen daily on construction sites. In fact, an average of 411 construction workers get injured every day in the United States.
Construction work is among the riskiest work where there is a high chance of facing a dangerous accident. It can result in minor and major injuries and sometimes even death.
Construction workers provide critical skills and services throughout that keep our country running. It's important to understand some of the main causes of injuries so we can focus our efforts on prevention.
Here is a list of types of injuries that can occur on construction sites. Identifying the causes and occurrences of when and how an accident might happen is useful. It can allow us to understand which preventive measures to take. Without further delay, let’s dive into it.
1. Vehicle Accidents
Well trained construction workers with the highest experience among their colleagues are surprisingly susceptible to being victims of workplace injury.
Workers must take extra precautions when dealing with heavy machinery, which is usually the case at construction sites. This includes practices safety when sharing the site with pedestrians as well as safety while operating.
An uncle of mine working at an equipment dealing firm in Texas was acquainted with a construction site worker who nearly faced death by an excavator malfunction. Incidents of being struck by heavy vehicles are reported, and he could have been among them. He also witnessed an accident where a poor worker got some broken bones. He told me the worker was fortunate and could have easily been crushed.
On vehicles like the bulldozer, your field of vision becomes limited and shrouded by the dirt around construction sites. When dealing with massive vehicles, remember to wear protective gear and ensure everyone around is within a safe distance. Clear the place of debris and always drive slowly.
Construction sites use electricity-powered equipment for better efficiency and to cut down manpower. In the age of technology, we have surpassed the need to rely entirely on human labor.
Unfortunately, the incorrect handling of these machines can result in different injuries like electrocution. Short circuit, malfunction, loose wiring in any of these machines and their parts, like the power contactor, may release a dangerous, life-threatening shock.
Always inspect the wiring and ensure the availability of electrical safety materials before handling any electrical tool.
3. Tripping or Falling
If you are involved in building something tall, with many storeys or even a simple bungalow, you may inevitably have to work at a certain height. The smallest slips can result in a fall from this height, leading to an injury or death. Improper use of climbing or safety equipment is one of the many causes of tripping accidents. This can lead to fractures, broken bones, scratches, and deep wounds.
Therefore, it is essential to properly equip fall protection gear and keep an eye on your surroundings when working. Your fall protection gear can prevent a fall or halt one to ensure it is correctly equipped. Additionally, be vigilant when performing daily tasks, like climbing ladders or mounting vehicles.
Burns are classified in different degrees, varying from minor to life-threatening. Many triggers in a construction environment can result in first, second or third-degree burns. Gas explosions when inflammable gas gets in contact with flame, pipe explosions or fires caused by sparks can all lead to burns.
Companies must provide workers with proper training and equipment to protect them from burns. For starters, banning cigarettes on the site must be enforced, and those in charge should ensure caution signs are held in dangerous locations. However, the most effective way to prevent such occurrences is using flame retardant substitutes for flammable equipment wherever possible.
5. Repetitive Motion Injury
It is no surprise that tasks in the construction field can be repetitive. Repetitive tasks can cause workers to develop repetitive motion injury. This injury is known to be extremely painful. Being subjected to repeated vibrations, or pushing and pulling, is dangerous. This is because back, neck and limb injuries can occur from repetitive motion, depending on your posture and the strain you put on your work. Therefore, keeping a good posture, taking breaks between long tiring work, and breathing exercises may help you counteract Repetitive Motion Injury.
Accidents happen all the time, and it is impossible to eradicate them. However, you can reduce the chances of them occurring with proper precautions. Construction work is among the most dangerous professions, where many injuries can occur. We have seen the various types of injuries that can occur at construction sites. Knowing this can ensure that proper precautions are taken when working there. Construction workers are essential as they do arduous and dangerous work that risks their lives. They deserve respect, and, above all else, their safety must be prioritized. We hope this article has been insightful and helps you understand the various injuries that can occur at construction sites. Thank you for reading!