What are the most common workplace hazards in the construction industry?
According to the ILO, at least 108,000 workers in construction die every year, which represents about 30% of all occupational fatal injuries in the world.
In the US, the construction industry has experienced the most workplace deaths since 2012. Most recent BLS data from 2018 shows that 1,008 workers died from a work-related injury, which represents 21.1% of all work fatalities in private industry. Falls are the leading fatality event within this industry.
In this blog, we will provide you a general overview of some of the most hazardous incidents that workers can face in construction and how they put their safety at risk.
As we previously mentioned, falls represent the leading cause of serious work-related injuries and deaths. Workers are exposed to experience falls while working in roofs, structural steel, scaffolds, and portable ladders. Before working on a project, employers must make sure that the work area is free of potential dangers as well as to provide proper training on PPE and how to use the equipment necessary to work tasks.
These incidents include being hit by objects that fall, roll, fly, swing, slip or slide such as building materials, tools, vehicles slipping off of jacks, or when loads are not properly secured or are too heavy. These events can result in serious work injuries for workers such as lacerations, bruises, broken bones and even death.
Caught in-between hazards
Hazards within this category include workers being caught, crushed, squeezed or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object. For instance, workers can be pulled or caught in machinery or equipment, being compressed by rolling sliding or shifting objects such as semi-trailers or being injured from cave-ins during excavation work.
Finally, another hazard that puts workers’ safety in construction is working with electricity. Electrical hazards come in a variety of forms: inadequate wiring, exposed electrical parts, overloaded circuits or working in wet conditions that can result in electrocution, explosions, electric shock, burns and fires.
According to OSHA, 591 workers’ lives would be saved in the US by eliminating these four leading hazards. In addition to this, there is a wide variety of risks that construction workers are exposed as well, including being exposed to dangerous materials like asbestos, working under extreme weather conditions, noise, overexertion, heat stress and much more.
Kwema helps you make your construction site safer by providing safety wearables that can activate a security protocol that not only saves precious time but effectively mitigates risk. When workers are in dangerous situations such as fires and cave-ins, in just 3 seconds they can ask for help alerting safety supervisors and 911. Moreover, our devices can be placed in things that your workers already wear, making their adoption easy and avoiding training costs.