Every day, construction workers in the U.S. face numerous safety and workplace hazards. The inherent risks associated with working at construction sites has resulted in the construction industry consistently being ranked among the most dangerous.
Thankfully, there are things that both workers and construction employers can do to prevent accidents and the resulting serious injuries and deaths.
A key factor to preventing construction accidents is understanding why they happen in the first place. Let’s take a look at 10 common reasons:
- Workers must often load or unload materials or heavy equipment, often on uneven ground. This can lead to a rollover accident where the material or equipment strikes the worker.
- Too many workers are crowded into a small space. With overcrowding, the odds of an injury go up, even when workers try to be safe.
- Workers are not careful enough when getting into or out of heavy equipment. A worker could slip and fall from the cab of a crane, for instance.
- Workers are forced to use equipment on sloped ground. This makes work more awkward and can lead to accidents when equipment and materials are not properly secured.
- A worker gets in the path of a piece of heavy equipment, perhaps stepping into the swing radius of a crane or a similar vehicle.
- Workers are struck by machines or vehicles as they are backing up. This could stem from a lack of visibility, a lack of communication or both.
- Workers are unaware of dangerous issues that are over their heads or buried underground. For instance, workers could suffer injuries if they do not know where other teams have already run electrical lines.
- The load falls off of a piece of heavy machinery. For instance, a crane lifts a heavy pipe and then the chain snaps, dropping it on those below.
- The machine itself tips over while in use. This can happen on unstable or uneven ground.
- A machine is not properly stabilized or locked. For instance, a hydraulic press does not lock out, a worker steps into the press to do maintenance, and another worker activates it.
The examples above are just a sampling of the types of hazards construction workers may face. If you or a loved one is injured on the job, it’s important to take steps to ensure that you understand and assert your legal rights.