Every year, hundreds of people are injured and killed at construction sites in the United States. Between 1992 and 2010, an average of 730 construction workers died annually from highway incidents, falls, electric shock and being struck by objects.
While the construction industry is inherently dangerous, many injuries and deaths can be prevented. For example, in 2010, falls were the leading cause of death at construction sites, despite that fact that there are proven fall-prevention techniques and equipment.
What can construction workers do to stay safe on the job and prevent injuries? Here are a few things to consider.
- Know safety protocols — If you’re on the job and see someone fall, what do you do? What do you do if you notice an unusual item sticking out from a piece of machinery? At the majority of construction sites, there are protocols for handling these kinds of situations. Know them, because addressing the issues in front of you can help prevent you and your co-workers from suffering injuries and deaths.
- Obtain proper training — Imagine working with a team of trained individuals versus a team without the proper training. The number of accidents and injuries is bound to be higher when people don’t know what they’re doing on the job. If you’re asked to perform work duties that you don’t feel comfortable doing—speak up. Don’t take work assignments that involve jobs you aren’t trained for and encourage your co-workers to do the same.
- Report hazards — Problems cannot be fixed if no one knows about them. Report workplace hazards and safety issues as soon as you notice them. Informing an employer that workers need to be trained or that machinery is malfunctioning can prevent accidents and injuries.
Following these safety protocols can make construction sites safer for all workers. Stay vigilant and report any dangers right away.