Construction is well known for having a lot of hazards, and workers need to be very wary. This is a physical job that comes with inherent risks. That means you can’t always avoid these risks, but they can be mitigated in some ways.
For example, workers who have to be at heights are always going to have some level of risk from falls. Fall prevention systems can be used to make this less likely, or to try to reduce injuries in the fall, but there’s no guarantee and these accidents will continue to happen.
To look at the four most common hazards, it’s best to look at what leads to the highest number of fatalities every year. Construction has a reputation for having the most fatal workplace accidents annually, so the causes have certainly been well documented. The Fatal Four are as follows:
At the top of the list, accounting for 36% of all fatalities, are falls. This encompasses all types of falls, from someone slipping off of a ladder to a worker who falls during a skyscraper construction project. It could also include simple things like slipping and falling on the job or falling into a trench. Far and away, falls are the biggest danger you face if you’re a construction worker.
Struck by objects: 10%
Next, with 10% of fatalities, are workers who were struck by objects. Perhaps the biggest hazard here is when objects are dropped from above. A worker on the ground could be struck by materials or power tools that were not secured by another worker.
Working around electrical lines is very dangerous, and it leads to the third-most fatal accidents every year. These events can happen in different ways, such as an electrician touching a wire that is hot when he or she believed it had been disconnected. It can also happen when ladders and other metal devices hit overhead power lines.
Caught between: 2%
Two percent may seem small, but it is still the fourth-most deaths attributed to a single cause. Workers who are caught between two objects can be trapped or crushed. An example would be a worker being pulled into a machine or stuck between two vehicles.
Workers who have been seriously injured, or the families of workers who have passed away, need to know about all of their legal options.