Being in construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US.
In 2017, there were around 14.1 deaths per 100,000 full-time construction workers. This figure doesn’t include deaths among construction painters, construction equipment operators, helpers, and first-line supervisors in construction trades. It also doesn’t account for non-fatal injuries on the job.
But what exactly are the causes of injuries and deaths on construction sites? Here, we’ll talk about the 10 most common construction accidents.
If you have acrophobia, you shouldn’t work in construction. Just think of the scaffolding, rooftops, ladders, and other high places where you need to do your work.
That said, falls top the list of the most common construction accidents, which is unfortunate considering that in most cases, deaths from falls are preventable.
At the ground level, slips or slips and falls are one of the typical construction accidents. These can happen when the ground is uneven (i.e. too hard/soft/wet/muddy).
It can also occur when other workers don’t practice safety procedures, for example, leaving tools and materials on the ground.
3. Falling Debris
Head injuries from falling objects are one of the risks of working in the construction industry. That’s why employers must strictly enforce hard hat areas, plus safety rules concerning lifting and moving loads, stacking materials, etc.
Ongoing construction means exposed wires, unfinished electrical systems, and so on.
As one of the most dangerous construction accidents, electrocutions accounted for 54% of deaths in the construction industry in 2017.
5. Fires and Explosions
Electrocutions aren’t the only accidents you can expect from exposed wires. Fires and explosions are hazards, as well.
Other causes of fires and explosions in construction sites include gas leaks, unfinished piping, and so on.
6. Machinery Accidents
Construction laborers also operate large equipment or machinery. These include cranes, bulldozers, jackhammers, etc. All these pose a danger so workers have to be ultra careful when operating these types of machinery.
Aside from heavy machinery accidents (e.g. crane accident), workers could also get injured from small power tools such as nail guns and drills.
7. Construction Accidents from Being Trapped in Between Materials
If a falling object is large enough, it can cause a worker to get trapped in between it and a wall, for example. Laborers can also get stuck in between heavy machinery, tools, and other materials.
8. Trench Collapses
Trenches and excavations are a common sight on building sites. But improper excavation could lead to the ground and the surrounding areas to be unstable.
This can cause a trench to collapse, injuring those who are working inside, as well as those who are nearby the site.
9. Vehicular Accidents
Since construction can also happen on highways and roads, there’s a possibility that a distracted driver could hit a worker on site.
But it’s not just distracted drivers. Those who are speeding could cause accidents, especially when it’s dark out.
Long hours plus extreme environmental conditions (e.g. high heat index) can lead to dehydration or worse, heat stroke.
Now that you know more about the most common construction accidents, we recommend reading up on construction site safety and best practices.
For more construction news, tips, and advice don’t forget to check out the articles in our construction section.