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Common Causes of Construction Accidents

Posted on 06/27/23

The construction industry accounted for approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities during the most recent reporting year on file, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, the vast majority of construction accidents are not fatal, but they often lead to severe injuries. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common causes of construction accidents. Some of these causes are relatively specific to the construction industry, but there are other causes on this list that can occur in just about any workplace.

Falls at Construction Sites

One of the most common violations OSHA cites against construction companies or contractors includes a lack of fall protection or training. Construction sites are filled with slip and fall hazards, and the very nature of a construction site makes these types of incidents more dangerous than in other environments.

There are various hazards that increase the chances of a slip-and-fall incident occurring, including holes, trenches, platforms, uncompleted stairways or open floors, loose wiring, objects in worker pathways, and more. Falls that occur from one level to another are particularly dangerous, and individuals often sustain severe traumatic injuries or even death.

Electrocution Incidents

Electrocution accidents can occur in a few ways at a construction site. Typically, these incidents occur when a construction worker comes into contact with an open power line or some other exposed source of electricity. Construction workers and electricians responsible for laying down electrical wires and installing fuse boxes and outlets must take proper precautions, but these are not the only individuals at risk of sustaining an electrocution injury. There are various contractors and subcontractors at a construction site, and these individuals could come into contact with exposed wiring or another source of electricity.

Crush Accidents

Crush accidents occur when a construction worker’s body gets caught in between two objects. This can include two moving objects or one moving object and a fixed object. For example, a construction worker could get pinned between a forklift and a concrete wall or another type of moving or immovable object. Additionally, a trench cave-in or some other type of structural collapse could lead to workers getting pinned and crushed.

Falling Object Impacts

Hard hats are required at just about every type of construction site due to the high risk of objects falling from heights. This can include pieces of lumber, tools, pipes, etc. Even with a hard hat on, a falling object could still lead to severe injury or death from a head injury or an injury to another part of the body.

Vehicle Accidents

There are various types of vehicles used in and around construction sites. This includes not only traditional cars like sedans and pickup trucks but also non-traditional types of construction vehicles such as dump trucks, paving trucks, graders, backhoes, forklifts, etc. Accidents can occur between two vehicles or between any of these vehicles and a pedestrian or vehicles and structures at the site. In some cases, single-vehicle incidents can also occur.

Malfunctioning Equipment

The equipment used at construction sites should be regularly inspected and maintained. Any tool or piece of equipment found to be defective should be repaired or placed out of service until it can be repaired. Additionally, construction workers should be trained to use any tool that they will be required to use at the construction site. Improper training often leads to the misuse of construction tools.