Hard hat set on the ground at construction site
26 Apr

Why Are Construction Site Accidents So Common?

Construction site accidents are incredibly common in the industry but also entirely preventable. According to Gilmore Health News, “Construction jobs rank among the most dangerous jobs in the United States because everyday tasks put workers in more high-risk situations.”

Knowing some of the frequent accidents on a construction site could help you avoid injuries or being a fatality victim. Awareness of these hazards allows workers and employers to create an action plan that identifies, reduces, and eliminates construction-related hazards. Continue reading to learn more about the activities and accidents that occur most frequently on construction sites.

Common Accidents in the Construction Industry

Most construction site accidents occur through no fault of anyone else. Still, they might have been avoided if employers provided enough information, tools, and resources to inform staff of any significant occupational safety and health issues.

Potential hazards on a building site include, but are not limited to, falls from great heights, being struck by falling debris, electrocution, and accidents involving heavy machinery. Let's look at four of the most common types of construction site accidents.

1. Falls

Most accidents on construction sites are caused by falls. Gilmore Health News reports, "The most frequent causes of construction falls include defective scaffolding, misuse of ladders, protruding objects, and unprotected openings in walls and floors." Even falls from very low heights might result in fatalities or catastrophic injuries.

Employers can ensure that workers have sufficient safety equipment, such as harnesses, and are properly trained to use it. Construction employees should also be trained to recognize and prevent potential fall dangers to guarantee that they can follow established safety protocols, use adequate equipment, and focus entirely while on the job.

2. Struck-by Incidents

On construction sites, struck-by incidents are also common, including getting hit by equipment and building materials. Hard helmets and other PPE (personal protection equipment) should always be worn by workers, and they should also stay vigilant of their surroundings on the job site to prevent being struck by objects. To help avoid workplace accidents, employers can prevent injuries by storing items appropriately and educating employees on how to secure objects safely.

3. Electrocution

When workers come into contact with live power lines or electrical equipment, there is always a chance for a “live wire” or “live electrical current” to enact a high electricity voltage through the body when touched. And every year, approximately 175 deaths (of which nearly half are electrocution deaths) occur in the electrical trades in construction.

Whether you’re an electrician or a contractor working closely with wiring, fixtures, power lines, and air conditioning units, recognizing and steering clear of potential electrical risks could save your life. On the job site, ensure that all electrical equipment is correctly grounded and that workers can access personal protection equipment, such as insulated gloves and boots, to avoid electrocution.

4. Injured by Heavy Machinery

Heavy machines, such as bulldozers, cranes, and excavators, can be dangerous if not correctly operated. Therefore, workers should receive proper training on using this equipment and the potential machinery hazards, and employers should ensure that it is well-maintained and regularly inspected.

According to Gilmore Health News, “10% of all fatal construction site accidents are estimated to result from employees being caught-in-and-between objects or machinery.” These accidents commonly happen due to employees' poor adherence to workplace procedures. All employers should inform employees of safety protocols, including keeping a safe distance from operating machines.

If a worker is involved in a construction site accident, take immediate action. This includes seeking medical attention for injuries, reporting the accident to the employer, and documenting the incident in writing. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the worker may be unable to work for a period of time, which can lead to lost wages and financial strain. In these cases, workers’ compensation may be a feasible option for any losses or disabilities.

Preventing construction site accidents is ultimately the responsibility of employers and employees, following OSHA guidelines. Employers should provide proper training, equipment, and supervision to ensure workers can perform their jobs safely. This includes providing personal protective equipment, conducting regular safety inspections, and addressing any identified potential hazards.

Employees also have a responsibility to prioritize safety on the job site. This includes following all safety guidelines and protocols, properly using personal protective equipment, and reporting potential hazards to their supervisor or employer.

At Carrillo Injury Law, we work with injured construction workers to determine the best legal options for workplace accidents. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 352-371-4000 or emailing us at office@carrilloinjurylaw.com.