Most Common Causes of Accidents on Construction Sites
The construction industry is one of the most risky sectors to work in here in the UK despite the strict legislation on health and safety in the workplace. However, construction in the UK is still a lot safer than it is in many other countries where they don’t have such stringent laws or where there is no enforcement process in place to protect workers. Today we’re going to take a look at the seven most common causes of accidents which often result in severe injuries or even death on construction sites.
- Falls from Scaffolding or other Structures – a fall from height remains the most common cause of fatal accidents in the construction industry. Because many construction sites are multi-storey buildings or involved working at height (especially when roofing), the chances that an employee will sustain injuries from something as simple as a stumble or trip are dramatically increased. Providing the correct safety equipment and training for personnel is an essential part of reducing the risks involved with working at height.
- Being Hit by a Vehicle – cranes, trucks, trailers, diggers, these are all common on construction sites so being struck by a piece of construction equipment or other vehicle is a possibility. To decrease the chances of workers being hit by machinery or vehicles, they should wear hi-viz vests and other protective clothing that will increase their visibility when working around vehicles.
- Being Struck by Falling Materials or Tools – construction materials are some of the main culprits when it comes to workplace accidents on a construction site. Workers should be provided with personal protective equipment, including hard hats, gloves, safety glasses and steel toecap boots to reduce the likelihood of an injury.
- Electrocution – this accounts for a surprisingly high number of accidents on construction sites. Look for overhead power lines when operating equipment and locate and identify all utilities before work begins as part of the risk assessment process in order to avoid electrocution.
- Trench Collapse – some construction sites need trenches, including the ones to create buildings, fix underground pipes and build roads. To reduce the risk of injury from a collapsing trench, workers should never be allowed to go into an unprotected trench, nor should they be expected to enter an area that is excavated deeper than 5 feet unless it has a protective system.
- Fires and Explosions – working in close proximity to flammable gases or compressed air present a danger of fire and explosion. Construction site workers should play close attention to warning labels and safety standards in order to lessen the chance of this type of injury.
The construction industry has no room for complacency when it comes to health and safety issues. While we’re aware that it has become a much safer sector in which to work in recent years, this doesn’t mean that we can let our guards down (figuratively or literally). Remaining constantly vigilant, adhering to legal requirements in health and safety and constantly maintaining an awareness of the dangers is essential at all times.