It shouldn’t come as a shock to say that construction sites are hazardous places to be. This goes for bystanders as well as highly-trained workers. In fact, in terms of frequency of accidents, only the agricultural sector beats construction work.
Common Construction Site Accidents
You can have the best training, the best safety procedures, and the highest safeguards in place, and accidents will still unfortunately occur. Here are the five most frequent and common construction site accidents, and how you can protect yourself from the liability of workplace injury.
Tripping and Slipping
Construction work is a busy job, with workers constantly moving from one place to another while carrying equipment, tools and supplies and navigating difficult and uneven terrain. From gravel to puddles to steps to grease and oil slicks, there are a lot of opportunities for injury.
To prevent tripping and slipping accidents, do your best to be sure that the site is as clean and free of debris as possible. While this may seem like common sense, you might be surprised how often it is overlooked. Encourage employees to immediately report hazardous conditions and consider keeping a cleanup crew on constant activity.
Falls from ladders, platforms and other high areas are a foreman’s nightmare. They are, unfortunately, all too common and result in more than sprained ankles and cracked femurs. These kinds of falls can result in deadly incidents.
The most common oversight in preventing falls is not having proper guardrails set up. Make sure that if there is any doubt whatsoever about the height, you have proper railings and safety measures set up. For jobs on high platforms, workers should be tethered in place with belts and safety harnesses as well as rope grabs nearby.
Workers are often injured by falling debris, tools and other materials. A simple excavator bucket that falls from a high platform can even kill a man who is wearing proper safety equipment. Safety gear in these cases, while always recommended, may not be enough to save a life.
As with falls, having proper scaffolding and guardrails can go a long way towards preventing falling debris. Fences, nets and barricades are also helpful. Finally, establish a warning system and proper signage to keep workers clear of danger zones.
Statistics show that as many as 33 percent of all workplace accidents in the construction industry involve vehicles. These accidents include pedestrians being struck by reversing machinery, forklift accidents, and vehicle-to-vehicle accidents.
The best defense against these sorts of occurrences is training. Make sure that all of your workers are highly qualified in using their vehicles. Establish concrete vehicle-only areas that are clearly designated to prevent people from accidentally walking into the path of moving equipment. Double check all reverse lights and alarms, and make sure your vehicles are in perfect working conditions at all times.
No workplace is 100% safe from accidents. This is just a fact of life for the contractors’ insurance business. But liability issues can be controlled and accidents lessened with stringent safety procedures. The time and money you spend up front can save thousands, even millions, down the line.