5 Construction Site Hazards And How To Prevent Them
Construction sites are notorious for being hazardous work environments. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 150,000 injuries occur annually on these sites. As a construction worker, you face different risks that can cause serious injuries or even death if not properly addressed. And for employers, these risks have costly legal implications, not to mention hampered work productivity. Workers and employers must understand these hazards and take appropriate measures to prevent accidents. So here are some common construction site hazards and how to prevent them.
- Working at height
According to recent statistics, working at height breaches increased by 84% on construction sites. Working at a height at a construction site means working in any place where, if precautions were not taken, you could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.
The best prevention is to undergo suitable training as an employee who works at height on different height surfaces and equipment pieces. For example, how best to work on scaffolding to keep you safe, compared to working on roofs or ladders, as each offers different surfaces. Employers should also keep height workers under constant supervision even if they’re secured with the right protective equipment.
- Respiratory hazards
Construction sites are often filled with dust, fumes, and other harmful airborne particles that can damage a worker’s respiratory system long-term. Employers must provide every on-site worker with protective equipment like respirators and insist they wear them on-site. These protective equipment are designed to prevent the inhalation of harmful substances.
Also, there should be adequate ventilation on the construction site to prevent or minimize the concentration of these airborne particles.
- Excavation and trenching accidents
Excavating lands and digging trenches are two of the most common causes of accidents and injuries on a construction site. These accidents can lead to falls, cave-ins, and other hazards. The best way to prevent excavation and trenching accidents is to wear protective equipment like helmets, hard hats, and safety glasses. Employers should ensure excavations are properly sloped or shored to eliminate the cave-in risk.
- Moving and falling objects
Falling objects account for almost 96% of non-fatal injuries. And yet, they are the most overlooked source of hazards at construction sites. It’s common to see objects constantly moving around with high risks of falling with little warning. Heavy equipment, supply chain vehicles, forklifts, and cranes, are some of the most common sources of moving and falling objects at sites. To minimize these hazards, you should be on a constant lookout, whether you’re a worker or an employer. Also, regular risk assessment on the site is essential.
- Slips, trips, and falls
Slips, trips, and falls can occur in almost any environment, especially at construction sites. Things like unused materials left on the site, various completion stages, and uneven terrains increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Also, uneven surfaces, site obstacles, exposed cables, and wet or slippery surfaces are other common causes of trips and fall. Site supervisors must ensure that workers can move about freely and safely. Workers should wear the right boots and remain alert at all times. Also, any wet area should have a warning or caution sign. And any worker injured from tripping and falling can always contact trip and fall accident lawyers to know their legal options.