Construction work and a construction site is one of the most hazardous occupations and places within the blue-collar category. The risks are significantly higher than in other fields. A recent report showed that about 80,000 construction workers sustain work-related injuries that leave them unable to work for some time.
Despite being an inherently risky profession, construction employees have a right to a safe, conducive working environment and access to protective equipment. Here are some of the risks associated with construction work and how to prevent them.
Types of jobs within a construction site
Within a single construction site, there are professionals from different fields with different skill sets. Each area involves working with various machines and equipment that can pose a safety risk one way or another. These jobs include but are not limited to:
- Construction experiments
- Project engineer
- Construction estimator
- Equipment operator
Common hazards on a construction site
Construction hazards largely depend on the type of work. For instance, risks associated with scaffolding are different from the risks associated with asbestos. It is important to know that there are set guidelines that should be followed. And when these are not respected, someone has to answer. If you want to learn more about construction accident injury claims, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer.
Some of the most common potential dangers of working on a construction site include:
Toxic airborne materials
Typically, working on a construction site means exposure to a lot of dust, which is a poisonous mixture of dangerous fiber and materials that are released into space. Toxic particles can cause lung disease, asthma, and heart disease. Every employer must provide safety equipment for workers to avert these dangers.
Electricity is one of the most common hazards of working at a construction site. It is the catalyst for nearly 1,000 annual work-related deaths. Contact with electric cables, machinery, and equipment leads to electrocution, which can also lead to fatal falls from ladders, scaffolds, and similar height platforms. Other electricity-related accidents are due to worker inexperience.
Collapsing trenches from buildings under construction or demolition is a widespread occurrence on most sites resulting in catastrophic injuries and death. Safety guidelines and precautions should be strictly followed. It helps ensure everyone on the site is safe.
Manual handling of equipment
Materials and equipment are moved around the construction site a lot of the time. Whether done manually or by equipment, it is a hazardous activity that calls for precautions, experience, and protective gear.
Noise is a common factor in construction sites and the primary cause of deafness and hearing problems. Employers have a responsibility to provide essential protective equipment to mitigate acoustic trauma.
Slip and falls
Slipping, tripping, and falling while working in a hazardous environment like a construction site is inevitable. This is due to uneven terrain, scattered materials, and wet, slippery surfaces. Again, ensuring that the working environment is safe and conducive is the ultimate responsibility of the employer and construction managers.
With every construction phase, the dangers increase. Objects are continually moving around the site that calls for maximum caution and safety awareness on the workers’ part to minimize the risk of accidents.
Perhaps the most common cause of accidents and injuries in a construction site is working on extremely high platforms. This is the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the construction industry. Safety training should be provided to workers who work at height platforms to reduce risks.
If you sustain an injury while working at a construction site, you will incur medical bills, which must be paid. If your injuries are severe, you will need to take a break from work as you recuperate. The piling hospital bills, the lost income, and tune time spent in the hospital can be a devastating financial pitfall.
However, federal laws allow you to seek redress and have your employer cover these expenses. All employers are required to take workers’ compensation benefits insurance plans to cover for such eventualities.
Samantha Alvord is a legal expert and a passionate writer who works tirelessly to inform people about the field of personal injury, her area of specialty. She has a talent for making complex legal concepts accessible to the public. It is Samantha’s goal to present a clear and structured piece to the reader, which can easily be used as a guide to solving legal matters.