A construction site can be an incredibly dangerous place. Workers use heavy equipment, work with dangerous materials and often are working at an elevation. This increases the potential for injury.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five fatal worker accidents occurred on a construction site. The four most common types of construction injuries are:
- Being struck by an object
- Being electrocuted
- Caught in or between equipment or objects
Though it is hard to eliminate accidents on job sites, there are certain precautions workers can take to prevent injuries. Here are a few ways to create a safer construction site.
Falls can happen from heights or from slipping while walking. One way to cut down on fall-related injuries is by using fall protection gear like safety net systems, guardrails or fall arrest systems. Ensure your work areas have proper lighting. You need to wear footwear with good traction. All employees should be trained on safety procedures.
Avoid being hit by an object
A worker is struck by an object when a piece of equipment falls from a height, or when someone suffers an impact from an object. This includes being hit by a car or a piece of machinery. Wearing hardhats and other protective gear helps prevent these injuries. You should also avoid hanging or lifted loads. Secure tools when working at an elevation. If you are driving machinery on site, do not use reverse unless you can see everything behind you.
Stay safe from electrocution
Electrocution causes burns, or more serious injuries like nerve damage or cardiac arrest. To prevent injury, deenergize electrical equipment. Wear protective equipment, and use insulating protective gear. Keep a safe distance from electrical equipment that is still energized.
Do not get caught in or between equipment
These types of accidents happen when a worker is caught, squeezed, pinched, crushed or compressed between objects. Perhaps the best way to avoid these accidents is using safety guards as directed. You should also avoid working too closely to swinging equipment. Do not wear long sleeves, jewelry or gloves around moving parts. When water fills up an excavation area, steer clear. Also, do not put yourself in between heavy equipment and a fixed object.
Construction sites are dangerous, but workers can take steps to protect themselves from common worksite injuries.