Table of Contents
|This article will discuss construction accidents, their causes, and prevention.|
✔ The construction industry is an emerging industry having a considerable contribution to the social and economic development of a nation.
✔ Construction work is generally risky and tedious because it involves heavy equipment, tools, machinery, and hazardous substances.
✔ According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1 out of 10 construction workers get injured yearly.
✔ According to the Bureau of Labor Statics (BLS), 150,000 construction workers were injured in 2019/2020.
Due to the growing casualties, it is essential to monitor construction safety from the design phase to the construction phase.
1. Causes of Construction Accidents
Some causes of construction accidents are:
a. Scaffolding and ladders
Most accident occurs due to falling from certain heights.
Workers fall from scaffolding or ladders while working at heights.
Most accidents and injuries (like fractures of bones, spines, head, etc.) are caused due to loose and incorrect placement of ladders and unguarded scaffolding in walkways.
b. Insecure Objects (Equipment)
Various sharp and solid objects used at elevation during construction may fall, and these falling objects can cause injuries like cuts, head bruises, and even death.
The workspace should be clean and well organized with safety measures to reduce such falling of objects.
c. The deficient immediate health facility
At the construction site, there should be first aid and various health facilities for immediate treatment of injuries.
Lack of immediate facilities can lead to the worst circumstances of accidents.
Some workers may have health issues like respiratory problems, phobia from heights, photophobia, etc. Inadequate supervision of such workers by the project managers can lead to accidents.
d. Faults in Equipment
Before starting to work, equipment should be well checked whether it is working correctly or not.
The durability of the equipment should be appropriately recognized.
If it is not working smoothly, technicians should check it for repair.
Thus, faulty equipment is one of the causes of construction accidents.
e. Deficient in proper training
There are many hazardous types of equipment used on the construction site.
Workers should be trained or guided to use equipment securely by applying safety measures.
Lack of knowledge and expert advice on using heavy equipment is also the leading cause of construction accidents.
f. Heavy Equipment
With the advancement of technology for efficient and fast work operation, small equipment can be replaced by single equipment of multi-functioning capacity.
And single equipment may be heavy in size and weight. Proper guidance and a skilled workforce are required to use such heavy equipment.
Heavy equipment like cranes, dodgers, rollers, trucks, etc., at the site, needs adequate communication between drivers, safety staff, teams, workers, pedestrians, etc., during operation.
The operation of heavy equipment is complex on its own. Thus, it is also considered the cause of construction accidents like strikes, crashes, etc.
g. Improper Way of Sequencing
Some workplace has risks of on-site erosion and sedimentation problems and thus causes difficulties in executing the project work as scheduled. Installation problems may arise on-site to operate various construction works that have been sequenced in project analysis of equipment and materials. Thus, this creates psychological pressure and may result in different accidents.
h. Inaccurate construction planning and scheduling
Inadequate planning and scheduling can cause improper management of workers, equipment, and resources. This can cause various accidents on construction sites.
i. Noise Hazards
Heavy machinery and equipment used at the site produce vibration and loud noise. And loud non-audible sounds can cause deafness & numbness to the workers, and vibration causes various internal injuries to limbs and nerves.
Thus, the loud non-audible sound is considered noise and is hazardous to human health. This is also the cause of accidents on the construction site.
j. Hazardous Construction Site
Some sites may have various deficiencies like natural disaster-prone areas, unsuitable land, etc.
Thus, the workplace should be chosen wisely before planning and scheduling construction.
Experts and civil engineers should permit to start works at the site.
Thus, the hazardous workplace is also a cause of construction accidents.
2. Preventive Measures of Construction Accidents
Some of the preventive measures for construction accidents are:
a. Hazards can be recognized at the site with adequate planning and scheduling. To prevent accidents, workers should have protective equipment like a helmet, jacket, hard-duty gloves, etc.
b. Maintaining distance from heavy noise-producing machinery.
c. Provision of adequate lighting at darker construction sites.
d. Removal of projected nails.
e. Checking and repairing equipment before executing the work.
f. Provision of personal protective equipment like eyeglasses, hard helmets, ear defenders, heavy-duty gloves, masks, slip-resistant boots, reflective cloth, etc.
g. Provision of proper balanced diet and rest intervals because fatigue and health issues can cause accidents.
h. Providing catch net on unprotected site.
I. For excavation works, workers should have proper training and knowledge about underground structures using defensive appliances.
j. Encouraging construction workers to become part of the safety program.
k. Placement of warning signboards in risky areas.
3. Common Fatal Construction Accidents Types
Many construction accidents reported by OSHA statistics occurred at the site are explained below:
Construction operated at a specific elevation may result in the fall of workers due to inaccurate performance of scaffoldings and ladders and improper personal safety equipment.
b. Struck by heavy equipment or objects that may fall from certain heights over pedestrians workers.
Equipment needs electricity during construction to operate works( like wiring and welding). While working, workers can get electric shocks, and electric firing may also occur. These electrical-prone accidents come under electrocution.
d. Accidents occurred by hazardous use of equipment without following safety measures.
And other different types of construction accidents:
a. Demolition of structures like ceilings, floors, walls, etc.
b. Cranes, Dodgers, rollers accidents.
c. Failure of heavy equipment leads to various bruises.
d. Accidents during welding rods.
e. Unguarded rebar may fall, causing construction accidents.
f. The collapse of whole structures due to unmatched frequencies of vibration and structures.
g. Excavation accidents.
h. Various harmful substances released during work execution on-site like toxic mold, hot concrete, etc.
i. Unmanaged rotating shafts and sharp cutting tools can cause significant injury.
j. Untightened or improper elevator facility on sites.
4. Safety Measures After Accidents
We cannot prevent unpredictable accidents. But some safety measures should be applied to treat the bruises victims after accidents.
a. There should be a warning alarm to alert other workers to help and notify them of upcoming hazards using a siren.
b. The fire extinguisher should be there to prevent firing accidents.
c. Medical teams should be hired at the construction site all the time.
d. Easy and quick access to the vehicle to go to the hospital.
e. Immediate first aid facilities and various health facilities should be given to the injured.
f. Immediate reports of accidents should be submitted to higher authorities.
g. There should be the facility of an attorney to compensate and manage all expenses of bruised workers’ treatment for every minor and major accident on the sites.
5. Attorney in Construction Accidents
Many companies work together on some projects with a sufficient number of on-site construction workers.
Due to unmanaged planning and scheduling, improper facilities for workers, and defective machinery, various accidents may occur.
And workers can sue a file of a construction accident claim.
This third-party claim allows injured victims and their family members to issue an attorney to manage the family’s medical expenses and earnings or income.
Depending upon the condition of the accident, victims can appeal for aid through attorney legal rights before signing for projects with some criteria.
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