Construction is one of the largest industries in the US. It is responsible for one of the highest fatal injury rates for workers. Construction safety is vital for the risk of injuries to be decreased. Construction hazards depend on the type of construction work. Below are some of the most common hazards in the construction industry and tips to avoid them.
A report by the CDC stated that one in three fatalities in the construction industry is the result of a fall. Improper use of scaffolding and ladders, failure to use proper fall protection equipment, and unstable surfaces are some of the most common mistakes that lead to a fall. Many state and federal laws govern training and safety protocols to protect workers. Before beginning work, employees must receive proper training on these safety standards. While working, using the correct safety equipment is another step in reducing construction hazards. Wearing hard hats, nonslip boots, and clothing that is not loosely fitted are all important steps in protecting yourself. In the tragic event of a fall, ILLUMAGEAR’s Sixth Sense has emergency fall detection, which will alert other crew members. This alert can help ensure someone who suffers a fall can immediately get the medical attention they need.
According to the US Bureau of Statistics, roughly 10% of fatal injuries on a construction site come from being struck by moving objects. Job sites are often filled with heavy machineries such as cranes and forklifts. This equipment can be deadly when not used with the proper training and guidelines in place. Specify machinery's routes and ensure no foot traffic will be nearby. There is also the risk of items falling from above. The most common objects that fall are steel beams and hand tools. Wearing a hard hat at all times can help avoid serious injury when an accident does occur. A valuable addition to your hard hat is ILLUMAGEAR’s Halo SL. This hard hat light allows users to See and Be Seen on the job site. When operators of heavy machinery can quickly identify workers and workers can better see their surroundings, the risk of an accident dramatically decreases.
Around 8% of worker fatalities on construction sites result from electrocutions. When working on a site with live wiring, ensure no work moves forward until power has been shut off at the site. Education and training are extremely important when dealing with electricity. Workers can help prevent accidents by identifying utilities near the worksite, maintaining the proper distance from them, and only using portable tools with GFCIs. Another great feature of Sixth Sense is that it's a personal voltage and current detector. Its audio and visual alerts will warn the user of any electrical dangers nearby.
Trench or Structural Collapses
Many serious construction injuries are related to trench collapses. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several requirements to protect workers when trenches reach 5 feet or more. Trenches that are 20 feet or more need a professional engineer to design them and require exits at least 25 feet away from any point inside. Falling into a trench is another risk, and proper barricades and signage are required to protect workers. Demolition sites or partially completed buildings and scaffolding can lead to collapses that risk workers and the job site. Proper planning and safety measures are needed to decrease the risk of these accidents.
Risks of Recurring Exposure
Construction hazards that are typically non-lethal but potentially life-altering are exposure to repetitive motions, vibrations, and loud noises. These risks are often overlooked due to their daily occurrence. Supervisors should implement job rotations and frequent breaks to prevent injuries from a motion being repeated over and over to allow the body to recover. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) occurs when employees frequently work with power tools that have both low and high-frequency vibrations. HAVS causes disorders that can affect the vascular, neural, and musculoskeletal systems. Loud noises can cause hearing damage and lead to distractions, making accidents more likely to occur. Hearing protection should be worn when working near any heavy machinery or tools.
Many construction hazards are accidents, unintentional and unexpected. Wearing PPE can decrease the chances of an accident. ILLUMAGEAR wants to create a safer world for people working in any environment. Reduce your risk of exposure to common construction hazards by taking charge of your safety today.