According to a 2019 report by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, fatal work injuries in construction sites are the highest.
Majority of these accidents happen due to negligence, unsafe work site conditions, lack of protective measures and improper use of equipment.
The employer can also be responsible for the worker’s accident if they put costs and working schedules ahead of worker safety.
Given below are some common construction site accidents.
If electric current passes through a construction worker who works directly or indirectly with electricity, it causes an electric shock.
This can happen due to metallic objects coming in contact with power lines, faulty electrical outlets, damaged extension cords, or wet contact with electrical appliances.
Electrocutions are a leading cause of accidents in the construction industry. Statistics say that construction workers are more likely to be electrocuted than workers in other industries.
2. Forklift And Crane Accidents
With powerful and big machines like forklifts, there is always a potential for accidents. Statistics show that more than 5000 forklift accidents take place every year.
The Occupational and Safety Health Administration reports that the main cause of forklift accidents is overturning of forklifts.
Some other common causes are,
- Overloading the weight limit
- Error in operating the forklift
- Improperly secured cargo on the forklift
- Malfunctioning of forklift
Cranes are also large machines which must be handled with care. The most common cause of crane accidents is workers who get struck by objects which fall from the crane.
Some other causes are,
- Overloading of the basket
- Malfunctioning of equipment
- Error in operation
- Unstable loads
3. Trips, Slips And Falls
Trips, slips and falls make up more than 37% of all the accidents in the construction industry.
Thousands of construction workers are injured every year and many of these injuries involve fracturing bones and dislocating joints. Trips, slips and falls have numerous causes,
- If the floor is wet, there is a high risk of slipping and hurting yourself. It can also happen in case of icy surfaces and when liquid waste which leaks from machines is not cleaned up.
- Climbing ladders while carrying heavy objects, obstruction of view, uneven surfaces and changes in floor levels can lead to falls.
- Poor lighting, dimly lit stairwells, lack of fall protection and cluttered work spaces are some other causes.
If you have suffered an injury at a construction site, we recommend you consult a construction injury lawyer. They will help you file for worker’s compensation and determine if anyone is liable for the accident.
4. Exposure To Chemicals
Many construction workers develop injuries due to exposure to toxic chemicals in the construction site.
The problem is that many workers don’t realize they are exposed to these chemicals until they develop a serious health condition.
Some of the common chemicals workers are exposed to include pesticides, fuel, machine oil, lubricants, sewage, waste water, PVC, mercury, lead and flame retardants.
Prolonged exposure to the chemicals can lead to diseases like,
- Neurological damage
- Endocrine disruption
- Heart and kidney diseases
- Impaired vision
- Impairment of digestive and immune system
5. Demolition Accidents
Demolition accidents occur frequently on construction sites. It can be due to lack of safety measures, improper training or falling objects.
Some demolition hazards include falls, collapse of the structure, noise, vibration and dust. This can lead to burns, broken bones, brain injury, paralysis and sprains.
During demolition, construction workers are also exposed to toxic chemicals and hazardous biological agents.
6. Gas Leaks And Explosions
Gas leaks in construction sites can lead to dangerous fires and explosions. The highly flammable gas can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and be dangerous to construction workers.
These accidents usually happen in construction sites which involve natural gas. They can be caused by failure to follow safety regulations, use of defective equipment and damaged gas pipes.
Burns, lung problems, dizziness, fatigue, nosebleeds and chest pains are some consequences of gas leaks.
7. Vehicle Accidents
Construction sites always have trucks, earth moving equipment and other heavy machinery.
If workers are not careful, they can get hit by these dangerous vehicles which pass through construction zones.
According to OSHA, vehicle accidents contribute to more than 35,000 injuries every year.
It is essential that all workplaces are properly maintained and all construction workers are provided appropriate safety training to minimize the occurrence of construction site accidents.