What Are the Biggest Risks for Workers at a Construction Site?

What Are the Biggest Risks for Workers at a Construction Site?

Construction workers are exposed to a variety of safety hazards on a daily basis, from heavy machinery to heights and more. Even a seemingly small mistake or oversight can lead to a severe injury in a matter of seconds.

Understanding the biggest risk factors associated with construction sites can help workers and employers take the right steps to create a safer environment. Here’s a breakdown of the most common construction-related injuries, causes, and how to avoid them.

Most Common Injuries in Construction

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction occupations have the second highest rate of fatalities compared to other industries. Even accidents that do not lead to death can result in severe injuries, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Chemical exposure reactions
  • Brain and head injuries
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries

Some of these injuries are mild and heal fairly quickly, while others can have life-altering consequences. Regardless of what type of injury you sustained, if it was caused by breaches of safety standards or someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages.

Biggest Construction Site Risks for Workers

If you walk onto a construction site, it likely won’t take long before you notice a high-risk area. Employees may be lifting dense objects, moving heavy machinery, or working in high or uneven places. Even with safety measures in place, these risks can lead to a few common types of injuries. 

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls account for roughly 35.3% of fatalities in the construction industry. Most accidents are caused by safety problems such as:

  • Incomplete scaffolding
  • Improper use of ladders
  • Spilled substances
  • Failure to use fall arrest equipment

Using the right personal protective equipment, maintaining a clean working environment, and securing ladders can help mitigate the risk of sustaining this type of injury. 

Struck-By Injuries

Construction sites can have dozens of workers and several large machines, all moving around at the same time. It doesn’t take much for someone to accidentally get hit by a piece of machinery. 

Communicating with coworkers and wearing high-visibility clothing can reduce your chances of sustaining a struck-by injury, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to remain aware and cautious when navigating a construction site. 

Electrocutions

Many people assume that electrical workers are the only ones to sustain injuries from live wires, but other construction workers are at an equally high risk. Working with metal tools near unfinished or exposed electrical systems can significantly increase your chances of electrocution, especially in rainy or wet conditions. 

It can be challenging to avoid electrical injuries, but it is still possible. Properly training staff on electrical safety, de-energizing nearby circuits, and wearing adequate protective equipment could save lives. 

Caught In or Between Injuries

Caught in or between injuries occur when someone gets stuck or crushed between two objects. This can happen if you get trapped by heavy equipment, caught in machinery, or injured during a cave-in. 

Machinery is the leading cause of caught in or between injuries, so workers should receive proper training and use safety features on all tools.

Seeking Compensation for Injuries

Protecting yourself or your workers on a construction site involves careful oversight and attention. If you have been harmed while working in construction because someone failed to follow laws or protocols, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages. A construction accident attorney can help you navigate the next steps.