The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) pays so much attention to the procedures that construction zones follow. They also implement many safety rules. It’s understandable because construction sites are hazardous. Compared to other workplaces, construction zone accidents often result in more severe injuries.
While many activities in construction zones can prove dangerous, the following have risen to the top based on the frequency of injuries and fatalities they cause:
- Slips And Trips Over Obstacles And Materials
Construction zones are often untidy with uneven surroundings. It’s no wonder why slips and trips are the most common injuries in this type of workplace. Rain brings slippery mischief, but the primary culprits are small oil and grease spillages. The construction zone’s management should clear walkways and areas of obstructions to avoid hazards.
Workers falling off unsecured scaffolding or ladders are the most common fall from height incidents in construction zones. Falls from height can leave a worker with fractures, broken bones, and even injuries that may cost their lives.
Correct usage of ladders must always be ensured to prevent falls from happening, even when only working on simple-to-erect steel buildings. You can find more info here about steel building construction safety.
- Getting Struck By Vehicles And Heavy Equipment
Unclear vehicle routes compose this type of hazard. Construction zone safety rules should always remind workers to avoid positioning themselves between moving and fixed objects. There should also be clear routes for vehicles.
Misuse of cranes, forklifts, and other heavy equipment may also be culprits. The construction site management should ensure that workers receive training on the proper and safe use of heavy equipment.
- Objects Falling Onto Workers
Debris, materials, tools, and other falling objects can be fatal for construction zone workers. They pose a very significant threat. It’s essential to fix guardrails and scaffoldings to prevent workers from falling off. The same principle also applies to barricades and fences. Safety nets will also catch falling debris. If employee’s get injured, administering proper first aid is also vital.
- Electrical Safety Issues
Electrocution remains one of the most common causes of construction site injuries and deaths. Before any work commences in the construction zone, it’s always essential to locate and identify utilities. Those who use equipment should also be properly trained and offered additional safety tools when required.
- Noise Pollution
Long-term exposure to excessive tool and construction site noise can lead to health problems. For instance, someone who’s not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for noise hazards and are exposed to deafening noise regularly for too long may develop tinnitus or ringing of the ears. Reducing noise level and workers’ length of exposure to it is the employer’s duty. The correct PPE should be accessible to the employees if noise reduction isn’t possible.
- Hazardous Substances
From chemical spills that release toxic burns or fumes to toxic airborne materials that can affect respiration, construction zones are often full of hazardous substances.
Safety data sheets (SDS) should exist so workers can read about any hazardous substances used at the site. Of course, the management should also provide PPEs, including respiratory protection for employees. Training regarding hazardous materials’ proper handling should also take place.
Construction site managers should know the possible risks in the area to effectively protect employees. By being knowledgeable about hazards, they can offer appropriate training and equipment to ensure workers make it to their homes safely from the job site. Knowing the seven health risks discussed in this post can be a good starting point.