Workplace injuries in the construction industry are commonplace, and the best way to avoid them is to know where hazards occur and to have a plan to protect every worker on every team at the job site. That means making sure everyone understands the most prevalent types of construction injuries and the best measures to take to protect themselves and the rest of their teams. When everyone is participating to make sure the work site is safe, it is easier to avoid being caught by these common injury hazards.
Common construction injury hazards
In a variety of documents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has outlined some of the most common sources of incidents. They include:
- Being struck by equipment or vehicles
- Being caught in or between objects
Delving into the Workplace Safety Series shows more details about exactly how these accidents break down. Trench collapse and scaffold collapse were listed as hazards, and they potentially contribute to both falls and struck-by accidents. In addition to that, repetitive motion injuries and a failure to use proper protective equipment caused enough injuries to be added to the list as major factors.
Using personal protective equipment and looking out for co-workers is one of the single best ways to protect against all kinds of accidents in any industry, and in the construction industry it is vital. Being alert is not enough, though. Workplaces need to have clear protocols for signaling and for maintaining safety to avoid things like vehicles and strike-by accidents, and employees need to be made aware of them if they are going to be effective.
Getting help when injured
The first thing to do when someone is injured in a workplace accident is to provide immediate first aid. The closest worker to the site's first aid kit is usually the best person to send, and the most trained medic available on the team is usually the best one to administer first aid. Often, it is a supervisor, which is good because OSHA regulations require supervisors to be notified so that the proper accident reports can be filed.
After the accident, the injured workers need to be checked out by medical professionals if there are any injuries that prevent them from going back to work immediately. When serious injuries happen, it may even be necessary to file a workers' compensation claim, in which case it can be worthwhile to work with an attorney familiar with the construction industry .