It is no secret that construction sites can be dangerous places to work. There are plenty of power tools, equipment, and devices being used. There are wires, holes, and scaffolds in use and those can pose hazards as well. So, how often do accidents occur in construction?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are roughly 150,000 construction accidents annually in the U.S. This means over 410 accidents occur every day. Falls, electrocutions, crush injuries, and dismemberment are some of the most serious construction site injuries.
Construction related deaths
Of those construction site accidents, in 2019 over 5,100 resulted in death. In fact, the accident rate rose over 5% from 2018 to 2019, according to the BLS. This is a significant number and demonstrates how dangerous it can be to work on a construction site. Deaths can occur for several reasons, but falling from heights and getting crushed or maimed by equipment is also a common cause.
Types of Construction Accidents
Falls are common on construction sites. There is often plenty of equipment sitting around waiting to be used and other materials may make it easier to trip and fall. But, the real hazard is working at heights, either from scaffolding or temporary floors. If gaps are not clearly marked, there is a greater risk that someone will fall.
Contact with Equipment
Coming into contact with equipment is common on construction sites. Power tools can severely injury or even kill a worker if something goes wrong. Larger equipment must be operated safely, making sure nobody comes across its path while its being operated. Workers can be crushed by larger equipment or severely maimed. Crush injuries can also happen when a worker is caught between a piece of equipment and a solid object, like a wall.
Electrocutions are more common types of injuries on construction sites that can lead to deaths. Workers may not see wires overhead or they may not be aware there are live wires below the ground where they are digging. Electrocution has caused death in several construction site accidents. Usually electrocution occurs because a metal part on a piece of equipment the worker is using comes into contact with bare, live wires.
Though construction site accidents will continue to happen, there are ways many of them can be eliminated.
1. Make sure unsafe areas are clearly marked and they stay marked.
2. Wear the right protective gear for the job, based on the type of work to be performed. Hard hats are almost always universally required on construction sites.
3. Use the buddy system so someone else is around to watch your work. Having an extra set of eyes may save a life or spot a hazard that can be remedied before it causes a serious accident or death.
4. Drink fluids often and take breaks when needed. It’s important to take breaks when working with power equipment or on a construction site. Being tired can lead to accidents due to reduced awareness of the surroundings.
5. Finally, try to keep work areas lean and free of spills or debris. This can go a long way in reducing trips or slips and falls.
If you have been involved in a construction accident and need legal help, I would recommend contacting The Law Office Of Joel J. Turney today.