We see construction work around us every day. However, it comes as no surprise that construction work is inherently dangerous given the conditions workers must work in and the tools and heavy machinery they use. The following are the four most common construction injuries according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
Falls from heights and slip-and-fall incidents are a common construction injury. Falls injuries often occur on uneven or slick surfaces, improper ladder use and improper mounting and dismounting from construction equipment. It is important to ensure work areas are clean and free of clutter, that workers use three points of contact when getting on and getting off construction equipment and that workers wear appropriate safety gear such as proper footwear and hard hats. It may also be necessary to install guardrails and safety nets if appropriate.
Struck by an object
Another common construction injury is being struck by an object or piece of equipment. This may mean being struck by machinery or a falling object. It is important that vulnerable areas are closed off and workers are provided with appropriate safety equipment. Materials should be stacked and secured safely, and workers should not be put in close proximity to suspended materials. Reverse alarms should be operational and workers should not reverse if they cannot see behind them.
Electrocutions are another common construction injury. Electrocution can be deadly. It can cause nerve damage or even cardiac arrest. It is important that electrical equipment used on construction sites is designed and used properly, that protective devices are in place and that materials are properly insulated.
Being caught between two objects is another common construction injury. A worker could be caught between machinery, trapped against a wall or have materials fall onto them if they are working in a trench. Workers should not be in a position where they are placed between a heavy object and a stationary object. They should also not wear clothing or accessories that could get caught in machinery. Excavation areas should be built with appropriate protections to avoid collapses.
Oftentimes construction injuries are caused by a third party. For example, a subcontractor could be injured due to conditions or actions of a contractor. In such situations, injured workers will want to learn more about filing a third-party lawsuit so they can be compensated for the damages they suffered.