The booming construction industry is great for employment levels around the country, however employees and contractors working in the field should be aware of the common hazards that are present.

There are clear and apparent hazards that exist on construction sites that contribute to high fatalities and injuries each year. Aside from the many fatalities, we must consider the number of injuries, lost wages, resulting pain and suffering and lost man hours that occur as a result of construction accidents.

Construction workers should, therefore, be aware of the risks from they are engaged as employees in their areas of work. It is not just the worker who has the responsibility of protection, but employers should also put systems in place to mitigate against all possible accidents that can affect their employees.

It cannot be overemphasized that workers must comply with safety standards and to know what safety standard signs mean. Take the opportunity to give attention to information on signs posted for your area of work. Here are some common hazards and how to avoid them.

Here is a list of the 5 most common workplace-injury related situations:

 

Falling from Heights

The most common danger on construction sites is falling from high places such as roofs, scaffolding, and ladders. Falls result from slipping and tripping and the shifting of ladders from where they are rooted.

Fall accidents can be reduced by ensuring that the work area is stable with the help of the use of rolling ladders instead of folding ones. Where the work involves high areas, one can reduce the risk of injuries to falls by attaching himself to a fall protection system that will arrest/prevent the fall.

 

Being struck by an object

Another serious risk to a worker is being struck by an object. This may include:

  • Objects being moved overhead or while in suspension.
  • Objects flying as a result of pushing, pulling, prying, grinding and pressurization.
  • Rolling objects, such as in being hit, crushed or run over by a moving vehicle.

To help prevent such site accidents, workers should constantly scan their work area and check for work hazards. Secure materials being loaded or moved so they do not fall. To add to this, never walk under objects being moved above you. Ensure that helmets, safety glasses, face shields and other relevant personal protective equipment (P.P.E) are used. It is worthwhile to also wear a highly visible reflective vests so you can be seen at all times.

One of the most common workplace injuries in Australia (and throughout the world) involves falling objects striking a workers lower extremities. To avoid this problem, workers should wear appropriate steel toe work boots. It’s recommended that workers visit a work boot review website to find the best work boots for their individual circumstances.

 

Electrocution

Electrocution is an inherent hazard on the construction site and accounts for an average of 7% of construction related deaths each year in Australia. The main worker error is working on “live” or near live wires.

It is important that you DE-energize or turn off the electrical system or part that you will be working on and be fully aware of the risks of working near electrical equipment. Do not forget your personal protective equipment. Again, a pair of electrical shock rated work boots is very important, and should be included as mandatory P.P.E on a construction site.

 

Becoming caught in between objects

Accidents in this category suggest that the worker is crushed, squeezed, pinched, drawn in, or compressed between two objects. Very often a worker’s hand is caught between a moving equipment part resulting in amputation. An accident can also occur from parts of clothing getting caught and the worker being pulled into the moving object.

If possible, turn off equipment or machinery before working with them. Be sure that you are trained to operate machinery and tools. Adhere to the manufacturers’ instructions in how to operate machinery and tools.

 

Chemical hazards

Chemical hazards are ever present dangers on the construction work-sites, and can not be avoided. Workers are often exposed to dust, fumes, gases, mists and vapors which affect the respiratory organs and trigger such problems as asthma, bronchitis, silicosis and skin allergies.

Much of the effects of this type of hazard can be reduced by wearing appropriate P.P.E. Therefore, your goggles and respirator equipment will definitely be a part of the standard, and lifesaving P.P.E.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 7:25 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.