The construction sector is among the largest industries in the world. It has the highest number of employees as well as the most intensive labor activities. There are also lots of machines, high voltages of power, toxic chemicals, a lot of off-ground activities, and many other hazards. It’s for these reasons that the construction industry has lots of accidents, most resulting in fatal injuries and even death. Research has shown that the construction industry loses nearly 1,000 personnel a day to work-related deaths. If you work in this industry, then it’s essential to understand the accidents that can occur, preventive measures to take, and what to do in case it happens to you.
The Most Common Hazards in Construction Sites
According to research, four common accidents occur in the construction sector. These four hazards include:
As a construction worker, you often have to work from high points such as roofs, ladders, and scaffoldings. It puts one at the risk of falling and sustaining injuries. Research shows that about 39.2% of deaths are due to fall majorly because safety rules for heights are often overlooked.
Falls from heights are more common in construction but also preventable. Here are some ways to minimize falls:
- Protect sides, wall openings, and floor holes.
Usually, a building under construction does not have doors, trails, or other protective measures installed. You can ensure the environment is well lit, and there are safety measures protecting you against every hole and openings on the site.
- Correct use of portable ladders
Ladders are mostly used to work on areas that are slightly off the ground. You need to use the ladder properly to avoid falls. It should be well-positioned and stable on even ground. Additionally, check the ladders regularly to ensure they are free from damages and defects.
- Use of personal protective equipment.
In addition to ensuring site safety, personal protective equipment is also essential. It includes items such as non-slip shoes, boots, helmets, etc. The gears vary depending on your line of work and are necessary since they reduce construction risks by a higher percentage.
Struck by an object
You can also be hit by anything from a truck to rolling or falling objects. Most cases of struck-by accidents include cranes or truck accidents. Well, many other objects can also result in fatal accidents that may lead to permanent disability or death. When doing masonry work, for example, there is an additional risk that involves lifting equipment used to position a slab or wall. In this case, a site manager or supervisor needs to ensure that materials used can handle the weight or force hence minimizing the risk of the slab or wall falling on the workers. Additionally, when working near suspended equipment or loads, ensure that the operator is fully aware of your presence.
- Use Personal Protective equipment
Protective equipment reduces these risks quite significantly. Use gear like hard hats, face shields, and heavy-duty work gloves, etc. You also need to be careful and ensure your team members are aware of your location.
Electrocution is also quite common in construction sites. Workers will often be in contact with power lines or electrical materials that can pose a danger to them. That said, the most affected workers are the electrical power line installers. Most sustain fatal injuries and may die due to power leaks and other power-related failures.
Beware of power lines
Do not go near high power lines unless you are an electrical professional. Even if you are, you should beware of electrocution, thus ensuring you are protected.
Beware of ground faults
Watch out for ground faults. That is why it is necessary to have proper footwear in the construction site. The ground faults can result in burns, fires, and explosions. You also need to ensure that the ground fault protection is the acceptable electrical standards.
Watch out for equipment errors
Regardless of your role in the construction site, you must understand how the machines operate and be on the lookout for faults. Ensure you also know the dangers of the equipment, which can cause electrical shock.
Getting caught up between objects
This accident is also known as trenching. It could be due to being exposed to harmful chemicals or being trapped in between objects. The objects may squeeze, pinch, or crush you.
-Wear protective clothing
-Avoid loose clothes, hair, and Accessories-Ensure your hair is tied neatly and not hanging. Do not wear hanging accessories as they can be caught in the machines.
Now, construction accidents can cause:
-Spinal cord injuries
What to Do When Hurt in a Construction Site
Due to the labor-intensive nature of the construction site, there is a chance that you or a colleague might be hurt at some point. The damage might be mild or fatal and can result in permanent disability or death. When this occurs, you should report it to the supervisor and get medical attention immediately. It is also vital to contact a construction accident attorney to assist you in getting compensated for severe injury cases. The attorney will guide you throughout the process of getting compensated and also represent you. Here are some of the steps you will need to follow to get compensated after a construction site accident.
Filling a worker’s compensation claim
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that gives benefits to employees when they get hurt at work. It is a requirement for employers to cover their workers at construction sites. This compensation will cover wage loss, medical expenses, and other damages incurred.
You can also sue your employer for compensation in case the accident occurred as a result of negligence on their part.
Filling a third-party lawsuit
You can also sue a third party for the accident that occurred on the site. In this case, you file a worker’s compensation claim and a separate third-party lawsuit against the individual. To win this lawsuit, you need to prove that the injury caused was as a result of negligence on the part of the party.
Filing a wrongful death claim
This form of insurance allows the family to claim on behalf of the deceased employee. In this case, the death must have been caused by an injury that the employee sustained while working on the site or on duty.
The nature of work in the construction industry exposes you to numerous risks and dangers. These dangers can result in fatal conditions. It is, therefore, crucial to have sufficient knowledge of the industry as well as the emergency response steps to take in case of an accident. You should also know that the law protects you from these types of accidents. Thus, you ought to speak to a reputable and experienced construction accident attorney to fight for your rights.