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Five most common construction accidents and how to avoid them

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries, Personal Injury

Construction jobs are well-paying for the most part but also extremely dangerous. In 2022, for example, construction had the highest number of worker deaths, with 1,069 fatalities, marking a rate of 9.6 per 100,000 workers—this number is an 83-death increase over 2021. The industry’s fatality rate has consistently been around ten deaths per 100,000 workers for over a decade and places it second to truck driving in industry deaths. Injuries are also alarmingly common, with 169,600 reported injuries and illnesses in that year, for an average of one in ten workers non-fatally injured.

The fatal five

Construction sites are inherently dangerous places. However, proper safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Here are the top five most common construction accidents and how to avoid them:

  1. Falls are the most common accidents in construction. They can occur from ladders, roofs, scaffolding or any elevated surface. For example, a worker might slip while working on a wet roof. Workers can reduce the risk of injury by using fall protection equipment like harnesses and guardrails. They should also always try to make sure surfaces are dry and free of debris.
  2. Struck-by object: This occurs when a moving object, such as a vehicle or falling equipment, tools or materials, hits a worker. For instance, a worker could be struck by a swinging crane load. To reduce their risk of injury, workers need to always wear protective gear, stay clear of heavy machinery and secure tools and materials to prevent them from falling.
  3. Electrocutions: Electrocutions often happen when workers come into contact with power lines or use faulty electrical equipment. An example could be a worker touching a live wire while installing lighting. To prevent electrocutions, always de-energize electrical circuits before working on them, use insulated tools, and maintain a safe distance from power lines.
  4. Caught-in/between: These accidents involve a worker getting caught, crushed, or squeezed between two or more objects. For example, a worker could get trapped in a collapsed trench. Workers can reduce their risk by always using protective systems for trenches and avoiding standing between moving and fixed objects.
  5. Overexertion: Overexertion injuries involve physical labor that is too strenuous for the worker. This could be a worker lifting heavy materials without assistance. To reduce the chances of overexertion, workers can get help, use mechanical aids, take regular breaks, use heat protocols and practice proper lifting techniques.

Employers can be at fault

Safety should always be the top priority on any construction site. Employers continually train and retrain workers on safety procedures, give them the necessary safety gear and properly maintain all equipment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, which is why the numbers listed above are so large. Depending upon the circumstances of the injury, workers and their families