The construction industry is notoriously hazardous, and it is well-known for high-risk work environments. There are many different injury risks that workers may face on construction sites. Safety regulations are put in place to help mitigate these risks. However, frequent accidents do still take place, leading to injuries or even fatalities.
Some of the main injury risks in the construction industry stem from the so-called “Fatal Four.” These four concerns lead to the highest number of fatal accidents for construction workers, although they are certainly not the only risks that these workers face on the job.
The top risk: Falls
Falls from heights, such as scaffolds, ladders, roofs or open edges, are one of the top reasons for serious injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. Workers can suffer severe injuries, including fractures, head injuries and spinal cord injuries due to same level falls and falls from heights.
Construction workers may be hit by vehicles on the job site, or they could be struck by equipment or other objects. This includes being hit by falling tools, equipment or materials, as well as being struck by moving vehicles or equipment. Some safety equipment can help, such as hi-visibility vests and hard hats, but PPE can’t safeguard against all forms of potential harm.
These dangerous accidents take place when a worker is trapped, snagged, squeezed or otherwise caught by machinery or other objects on the job. Examples include being caught in machinery, trench collapses or being pinned by heavy equipment.
Electricians and other workers (in particular, although not exclusively) may face electrical hazards, such as electrocution, electrical burns and shocks, when working with power lines or electrical systems. Not only are there electrical hazards on these job sites, workers using ladders, cranes, lifts and other types of equipment need to be aware of the risks from overhead power lines as well.
A focus on safety
To mitigate these risks, construction companies must prioritize safety by providing appropriate training and safety equipment, and by implementing strict safety protocols. Workers also play a crucial role in their own safety by following safety guidelines and reporting hazards or unsafe conditions. Unfortunately, some injuries happen even when workers do everything in their power to stay safe, and that is when employees need to consider their rights to workers’ comp benefits and/or personal injury compensation to help replace lost wages, cover medical bills and additional related losses.