Construction is a dangerous occupation
Construction workers face a variety of hazards on a daily basis. As a result, workers in this occupation have more non-fatal and fatal injuries than almost every other job.
Although there are safety standards in place, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finds that there are frequent violations of certain standards, and these often lead to serious injury. Companies and employers can do more to help prevent many of the resulting injuries.
Frequently violated standards
In construction, the standards most often violated include:
- Fall protection
- Fall protection training
- Eye and face protection
Other violations in the general industry category, such as hazard communication, powered industrial trucks and machine guarding, may apply to construction as well.
Occupational Health and Safety discusses many of the common injuries that occur due to accidents and standards violations. The leading hazards include getting hit by an object, falls, getting caught in between objects and electrocution.
One of the most common injuries is traumatic brain injury, which can occur in various scenarios. Other injuries include spinal cord injuries, lacerations, fractures, burns, digit loss, hearing loss and muscle strains and sprains.
Many injuries are preventable. Helmets can prevent many head and brain injuries, although it depends on the angle of the hit. For fall prevention, guardrails, non-slip surfaces and toe guards are helpful. Along with helmets, other personal protective equipment includes safety harnesses, safety gloves, eyewear, hearing protection, steel-toed boots and respirators.
Inspecting the work area on a regular basis and identifying potential hazards should be a priority. Employers should also provide frequent safety training and make sure all workers are wearing the appropriate gear.