Focus on these four hazards to prevent injuries on construction sites.
According to OSHA, in 2016 21.1% of all worker fatalities were in construction. Construction sites can be dangerous places. Construction workers are often required to use powerful machinery, climb to great heights or work on roadsides. OSHA has named the following construction hazards as the “Fatal Four” as they are the most common injury on sites.
A worker may fall from a building, scaffolding, or piece of machinery to the ground below. Workers can also fall into holes or ditches on construction sites. Some ways to prevent falls are:
- Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment.
- Install and maintain perimeter protection.
- Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
- Use ladders and scaffolds safely.
Struck By Objects
Nearly 10% of deaths that occur on construction sites happen because falling objects hit employees. Employers can implement many safety protocols for their construction sites that can help prevent this:
- Provide and wear hard hats
- Don’t exceed maximum loads
- Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects.
- Wear high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.
Over 7% of construction-related deaths are due to a worker being caught in or compressed by objects or 7% equipment. Some of these deaths are also due to workers being trapped and crushed in a collapsing structure.
- Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place; some trenches under 5 feet deep may also need such a system.
- Make sure the trench or excavation is protected either by sloping, shoring, and benching or trench shield systems.
Working with generators, power tools, machinery, and electrical wiring all put construction workers at risk of suffering electrical burns. Over 8% of construction site deaths occur when an employee is electrocuted. Follow these safety precautions to avoid any injuries:
- Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
- Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment.
- Maintain a safe distance away from power lines; learn the safe distance requirements.
- Do not operate portable electric tools unless they are grounded or double insulated.
- Use ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection.
- Be alert to electrical hazards when working with ladders, scaffolds, or other platforms.
These 4 construction hazards can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities if one isn’t careful. Burns, broken bones, and head and brain injuries are just some of the injuries that workers can experience from these hazards. Taking proper precautions can help keep construction workers safe and on the job.