Construction sites have long been considered one of the top working environments when it comes to safety hazards and work place accidents and this is despite continuous improvements when it comes to onsite safety.
When working on or even entering a construction site all personnel should have under gone safe pass training. This type of training, which is mandatory, decreases the likelihood that construction workers will be involved in an accident or expose themselves to hazardous materials and situations.
Excessive exposure to these construction site hazards exposes workers to injury and possible death. To prevent this, a company and its personnel should know how to identify and be aware of all possible dangers that can be encountered during normal business operations.
Listed below are the top five construction site dangers a worker or visitor to a construction site are likely to encounter:
Stairways and Ladder: Stairways and ladders are major sources of injuries and fatalities among construction workers. These recorded injuries are serious enough to put a worker out on sick leave. In one OSHA registered study there were approximately 24,882 injuries and 36 fatalities yearly directly related to stairways and ladders. So this is one area workers should be particularly vigilant around. One must always ensure ladders are firmly grounded with no chance of slippage and all stairways weather temporary or permanent are constructed to the absolutely highest safety standards.
Falls: Taking a fall on a construction site vary in the different types and different severity. Falling from a scaffold that is over six feet or a fixed ladder of over twenty feet is, based on recorded data the most dangerous and common construction site hazard.
Of all of the accidents that take place in the work environment falls make up fifty percent of all of those numbers. This includes falling from high places such as a ladder, scaffolding and roofs. The usual cause of this incident is slipping, tripping and using unstable ladders.
The best way to reduce these numbers is to ensure that all personnel have gone through construction site safety training such as Safe Pass training. These types of programs are instrumental in keeping people safe while working on construction sites. Workers should be trained to identify and evaluate fall hazards and be fully aware of how to control exposure to such risks as well as know how to use fall protection equipment properly.
Electrical: The danger from electricity is certainly not just confirmed to constructions sites. Electricity is a hazard in all manner of workplace environments and also in homes. For power line workers such as ESB engineers, electricians and electrical engineers who work continuously with electricity the high level of risk from electricity is obvious. People working in these jobs need to be extra carefully.
On a construction site the risk of accidents involving electricity is also high given the activity that is carried out on site and the type of machinery operating there. So the best way to prevent this kind of hazard for site workers is to be aware of there surrounding and know where power-lines are located so as to avoid interfering with them.
Other precautionary measures includes guarding and insulating of the vehicle from which they might work. This would help prevent electrical hazards from injuring them while working.
Heavy Construction Equipment: When we think of construction sites we will typically think of heavy machinery such as diggers, dump trucks and similar type of heavy machinery. This type of machinery is another source of danger, where approximately 100 construction site workers die each year due to heavy construction equipment.
The main causes of such accidents includes: ground workers struck when a vehicle is backing up or changing direction; equipment rollovers that injure the operator; mechanics run over when brakes are not properly set; and ground workers crushed by falling equipment from backhoes, buckets, and other moving construction vehicles.
To prevent this kind of risk, workers should follow all construction safety guidelines necessary to eliminate the exposure to such injuries and accidents.
Scaffolding: This is the other major work site hazard to take care with when working on. Every year, workers die from falls from scaffolding, with some statistics stating the numbers to be as high as one out of five construction site falls end in fatalities.
The most potential risk of scaffolding is due to moving scaffold components; scaffold failure related to damage to its components; loss of the load; being struck by suspended materials; electrical shock; and improper set-up. Construction workers who assemble and dismantle scaffolding and work platforms at construction sites face the risk of serious injuries due to falls.
Unfortunately safety risks on construction site are unavoidable; however, with proper vigilance in conjunction with regular Safe Pass training these risks and hazards can be minimised. It is so very important that workers are able to identify the hazards that are present on construction sites. The employer must establish proper safety standards that meet the maximum requirements. This will ensure that workers will have a safe working environment during normal operation.
This is not a completely and exhaustive list of risks that can be encountered on a construction site; however, those listed above constitute the top five risks that visitors to construction sites can potentially encounter. And both employers and workers should be continually working to eliminate from occurring.