What are the Most Common Hazards at Construction Sites?
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations out there, accounting for more fatal injuries than any other industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that in 2013, 4,585 workers died at construction sites — an average of 12 employees a day.
Eliminating what OSHA calls the “Fatal Four” could prevent hundreds of construction deaths and thousands of injuries. These four types of accidents were responsible for more than half of construction fatalities in 2013:
1) Falling: Most construction site fatalities occur when workers fall, accounting for 36.5 percent of fatalities. A fall could be the result of unstable surfaces, human error or misuse of fall protection equipment. Guardrails, safety nets, harnesses and other fall protection measures can help prevent serious and fatal injuries.
2) Struck by an object: Falling objects cause 10 percent of construction worker fatalities. Proper head protection can help protect workers from falling objects and contact with electrical hazards.
3) Electrocutions: Electric shock is responsible for 8 percent of deaths. Many fatalities associated with cranes occur when the crane hits an overhead power line. Proper electrical wiring and checking other equipment for how they may interact with the wiring may prevent electric shock.
4) Caught-in or caught-between: Two percent of deaths occur when a worker becomes trapped in the construction site, such as when a trench caves in on itself. Trenches need to be inspected by an engineer and include exits before employees enter.
OSHA monitors construction sites to ensure they are safe for workers. Some of the most common violations include:
- Lack of fall protection
- Poor hazard communication, or clear procedures on what to do when exposed to harmful chemicals
- Unstable scaffolding
- Poor respiratory protection
- Failure to follow instructions for powered industrial trucks, like forklifts
If you’ve been injured at a construction site, meet with an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer at McMenamy Law LLC.