What Are The Most Common Injuries on a Construction Site?
Posted in Construction Accident on August 9, 2022
Construction sites present a multitude of hazards for workers and even for bystanders nearby. However, those who work construction jobs day in and day out do face increased risks above and beyond what other workers experience. There are certain injuries that tend to crop up more than others when it comes to construction sites, and these injuries can lead to significant long-term setbacks for workers.
The Fatal Four
Data available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous occupations a person can have in the US. During a recent reporting year, approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities occurred at construction jobs.
OSHA has dubbed the four most common causes of construction site fatalities as the “Fatal Four,” and the agency spends a significant amount of time trying to educate employers and construction companies about ways to avoid these four common hazards:
- Falls. Falls on the leading cause of workplace deaths in the construction industry. Construction sites offer plenty of opportunities for fall hazards. This can include falls from one level to another caused by a slip or trip. What is more likely to make a fall fatal is falling from one level to another. This can occur as a result of workers falling off of matters, scaffolding, or roofs.
- Struck by object. There are plenty of moving objects around a construction zone. This includes vehicles and heavy machinery. Anytime an individual is struck by a heavier object, this can lead to significant external and internal trauma.
- Electrocutions. Workers face the risk of electrocution at construction sites due to a number of conditions, including exposed wiring. Additionally, the risk increases if they are wet conditions while there are exposed outlets. Electrocutions can also happen as a result of contact with overhead power lines or energized components of electrical panels and equipment panels.
- Caught in between objects. Similar to getting struck by an object, individuals can also get caught in between two heavier objects. This could result in crushing injuries that lead to significant internal trauma. Additionally, workers could also get caught inside trenches that collapse if they are not properly constructed.
Other Common Causes of Construction Site Injuries
Aside from the “Fatal Four,” there are also various other ways that individuals can sustain injuries at a construction site. This includes injuries caused by:
- Overexertion. Construction work is labor intensive, and often, individuals over-exert themselves. This can include shoving or pulling something too hard, trying to lift heavy objects, or even performing the same motions over and over again for long periods of time. Overexertion injuries can lead to significant time away from work and long rehabilitation periods.
- Tool mishaps. Anytime tools are not properly maintained or used according to manufacturers’ instructions, this significantly increases the chance that a construction worker will harm themselves or others around them.
- Vehicle accidents. There are plenty of vehicles around construction sites, including traditional passenger trucks or SUVs as well as larger vehicles, including dump trucks and excavators. Just like any other type of vehicle, individuals can make mistakes during their operation.
- Exposure. Construction workers could be exposed to a range of hazardous elements or chemicals. This includes exposure to extreme heat or cold, loud sounds, and extremely bright lights. Additionally, hazardous chemicals used in the construction industry or the remodeling process could lead to significant chronic internal illnesses.