construction site accidents

Construction Site Accidents – Causes and Prevention11 min read

Construction Site Accidents are common, but the majority of the time they are so easily avoidable. Working at a construction place should always be a safe operation. Here’s everything you need to know about the most common type of Construction Site Accidents and how you can prevent them from happening.

There is a wide range of risks & hazards associated with working in construction. It is absolutely right that employers understand the risks and do everything they can to mitigate them as much as possible so far as is reasonably practicable.

By comparing to all other job sectors, construction has the maximum number of fatal work injuries. Construction Site Accidents cause thousands of on-the-job injuries and contribute to almost 20% of all yearly private industry worker deaths in India.

There are many factors that contribute to construction site injuries and fatalities. The main causes of fatal & worker’s deaths on construction sites are:

  • Falls
  • Getting struck by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Pipefitter accidents

Due to the numerous hazards on construction sites, there are many safety precautions to protect workers. But Construction Site Accidents still happen and when they do you pay the price with a life-changing injury.

Read More: Top 8 Construction Site Safety Measures

Causes of Construction Site Accident:

Surrounded by building materials, tools & machinery; sometimes construction workers can find themselves facing hazards at a given moment. The most common type of Construction Site Accidents include:

1. Falls:

Every year almost 350 construction workers lose their lives from falls. Most times these occur from elevator shafts, frameworks, ladders, scaffolding, or canopies. Working on four feet or higher from the ground puts workers at a greater risk for falling, but anything that is capable of causing you to lose balance and fall is a hazard.

No matter how it happens, falling on a construction site can result in serious injuries or even death.

2. Falling from Heights:

construction site accidents
Falling from Height on Construction Site

Many construction workers are required to perform their work on raised surfaces. Roofs, scaffolds, and ladders are particularly dangerous but even falls from a short distance can cause serious injuries.

Workers are required to be protected by guardrails when working six feet or move above a lower level and the ground below them should be clear of sharp materials or other harmful debris.

3. Falling in Holes or Shafts:

Pier holes, floor holes, and excavation holes are all common hazards on construction sites. It’s easy to step back onto a hole or step when the forward view is blocked. Covers should be used to protect employees from falling in holes.

4. Falling Because of Debris or Unsafe Surfaces: 

If the construction site is not properly maintained, it may lead to clutter and debris, all of which create fall hazards. Jobsites should be free of scraps, especially those with protruding nails & any debris that is combustible, as well as other waste and trash. Unstable & sleepy working surfaces need to be secured as they also pose a fall risk for workers.

5. Equipment Failure:

construction site accidents
Accidents Due To Equipment Failureconsruction site

Equipment failure on construction sites is mainly due to defective tools or machinery. A non-existent or malfunctioning safety switch might result in a dangerous accident. Employees should have access to safety tools and tool manufactures are also at fault for some instances of equipment failure.

Read More: What Is Formwork And 6 Types Of Formwork With Their Advantages

6. Crane Accidents on Construction Site:

accidents on construction site
Crane Accidents on Construction Site

Cranes are dangerous lifting machines, mostly used to move materials and earth in the construction industry. Dozens of people are injured or killed each year in construction by crane accidents. Cranes are estimated to be involved in between 25 to 30% of all fatal construction site accidents.

Crane construction site accidents may be caused by instability, overturning, overloading, and contact with a power line or being struck by falling objects from a crane.

Working around cranes, scaffolds or power tools puts workers at risk to be hit by falling or flying objects. Hardhats, safety goggles, and other protective measures can minimize but can’t eliminate the risk of being hurt by falling objects from a crane.

7. Scaffolding Accidents:

construction site accidents
Falling from Scaffolding on Construction Site

Accidents involving scaffolding may also cause serious injury. Scaffolding is temporary framing used in construction and building remodeling. Construction workers are often required to work at high heights on scaffolding and ladders in windows and on roofs.

Construction workers can be injured when they fall off from scaffolding or when scaffolding collapse and falls on them.

Scaffolding construction site accidents may be caused by improper installation, improper use of the scaffold, defective materials, or objects falling off of scaffolding. An estimated 65 people lose their lives every year in scaffolding collapse accidents.

8. Electrocutions:

Due to the fact that when construction sites are in progress, there is often exposed wiring, power lines, and unfinished electric systems around premises. Coming in contact with these could lead to electrocutions or shock. It is one of the top four leading causes of workplace fatalities. Electrocution remains a real threat to workers of the construction sites.

9. Fires and Explosions:

accidents on construction site
Fire on Construction Site

Thousands of fires and explosions contribute to construction worker fatalities every year. Whether it is from an explosive device used to flatten land or a spontaneous ignition from oily rags, the Jobsite presents many fire hazards.

Other common causes of construction site fires and explosions include smoking, heaters & electric fires from combustible materials. Because of unfinished piping, leaking gases and incomplete electric system may lead to fires and explosions at the ongoing construction site.

10. Heavy Equipment:

construction site accidents
Heavy Equipment Failure on Construction Site

Heavy machinery, tools & materials is present at many construction job sites and this complicated equipment needs to be maintained and operated under supervision. When employees are not properly trained, safety precautions are ignored or equipment is not inspected regularly, dangerous or even fatal accidents can occur.

11. Getting Hit by a Vehicle:

Construction sites are often located near or adjacent to roads and highways. Sometimes drivers can be distracted by the ongoing work and if a driver is not looking or it is dark out, it is possible for a worker to get hit by a passing vehicle or truck.

12. Getting Caught in between Objects or Materials:

Construction sites are surrounded by heavy machinery, tools, and materials. Often, workers sometimes find themselves stuck in between immovable objects, machinery, or fallen debris.

These types of construction site accidents occur when a worker’s body becomes caught, squeezed, or crushed in between two objects. Construction rollovers and unguarded machines can contribute to caught-in-between cases.

  • Machinery Accidents:

Construction workers are using much heavy machinery in their work during construction. From cranes and bulldozers to jackhammers and nail guns, an error or accident with these tools can be very dangerous.

  • Overexertion:

Too many hours of hard work by laborers in extremely hot or humid conditions can cause workers to overexert themselves and even fall victim to heatstroke.

Read More: How Long Should Concrete Cure Before Removing Forms

How to Prevent Construction Site Accidents:

Construction, however, can be a safe occupation. Workers must be aware of the hazards and use of an effective safety and health program. Here are some more specific ways for construction employers and employees to prevent an accident on construction site.

1. Provide Safety Training For all Employees:

construction site accidents
Safety Training on Construction Site

Employers are required to educate employees on all workplace safety standards and the hazards that they may face while on the job. Workers have to review the health and safety policies for each job they are called to do on the site. Employees should not handle or operate any equipment they are not qualified or trained to use it.

 2. Hold Frequent Crew Safety Meetings:

At workplaces, safety meetings should be held daily, for example, if high-risk work is being done. Employees should be reminded to stay focused and relevant issues should be addressed. Real-life factual and job safety information tends to be more motivating for workers to do their work with safety and using protective wears.

3. Utilize Protective Clothing and Gear:

Workers should always wear the recommended safety equipment while performing their jobs. This may be a hard hat, high-visibility clothing, goggles, gloves, steel-toed shoes, and protective suit. In the summer, outdoor workers need wide-brim hard hats, nape protectors, and long sleeve lightweight shirts to protect them from the sun’s rays.

4. Keep the Workplace Clean:

Keeping work areas clean and free of debris will lessen the chances of construction worker injuries and help to prevent worksite accidents such as slips, trips, and falls. Walkways should be kept clear of debris to prevent accidents that include slips and falls.

5. Maintain the Equipment and Tools:

construction site accidents
Safety Equipment and Tools

Before using any heavy equipment or machinery, workers must ensure it is in proper working order. Tools and machinery should be kept on a regular inspection and calibration schedule. Broken parts and malfunctioning gear can also cause serious injuries and deaths. Avoid these all things to prevent construction site accidents

6. Prevent Falls:

Falls are the main cause of fatalities in the construction industry while operation performing on the higher than ground level. It is important that workers are protected from falls in the job. The installation of fall protection systems can protect construction workers and saved their lives. These systems should include such items as guardrails, toe boards, screens, canopy structures, or nets.

 7. Recognize the Hazards and Make a Plan:

Before any execution of the project starts, the site should be inspected for any unusual hazards. A risk assessment can protect the worker’s health and safety. After checking the risk assessment, a list of preventive measures should be made and implemented. It is essential to prevent construction site accidents.

8. Be Careful with Vehicles:

Many fatal accidents on worksites involve vehicles. Defensive driving, parking, and backing should be practiced.

What to do and Which Steps to be Followed After an Accident on the Construction Site?

Following steps to be taken after if construction site accidents:

1. Getting Medical Care:

The first important steps to follow after a work site injury is checking and treating the damage. Even if the injury seems minor, a medical professional should diagnose and treat the injury before person attempts to return work.

2. Taking Note of Where, When and How the Accident Occurred:

 If the injured worker is physically capable, he should make sure to record the significant aspects of the accident, including time, place and potential cause. These records may be used later as evidence.

3. Reporting the Injury:

The injured person absolutely his supervisor or superior of the accident as soon as possible. Make sure to record the name and position of the person who accept the report and the date the report was submitted, this information will be added to the victim’s case note.

4. Preserving Any Accident Evidence that may be Needed:

Someone should be take pictures of the victim’s injuries, the location where the accident and the equipment or tools involved. Try to preserve as much evidence as possible.

5. Securing Medical Reports, Documents and Imaging:

When getting medical attention for the injury, the workers should make that all injuries are well-documented, clearly recorded and accessible. Documentation should include dates, doctor’s name, any treatments he received and meditations he was prescribed.

6. Contacting an Experienced Lawyer:

Securing a strong claim for worker’s compensation benefits or personal injury damages can be difficult. Although the injury may have clearly occurred as a result of workplace negligence, your employee may try to belittle your claim or flat out refuse benefits. This is why for cases of injury, it’s advised that you retain legal representation to help build and streamline your claim.

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