The Top 4 Causes of Construction Safety Accidents

Martin Sejas
April 9, 2010 — 1,048 views  

Anyone involved in the construction industry would know that construction safety accidents are part and parcel of the industry. However, this only means that you should be doing all you can to make sure that they don't occur.

The next best thing to completely eliminating accidents is reducing them, or at least reducing the risk of them occurring.

If you want to achieve this goal, you have to first understand what the main causes of accidents and deaths are on US construction sites. Providing a solution to a problem is not impossible without first knowing the causes of a problem.

You can divide all construction safety accidents into 4 main categories, all of which are listed below.

Electrical Incidents
Electricity is such an essential part of our daily lives that we sometimes tend to take it for granted. More importantly, we take for granted how dangerous a safety hazard such as electricity can really be. The OSHA or otherwise known as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration says that workers should not work near an electrical power circuit unless they are wearing adequate protection. Below are a number of hazards that electricity can pose:

  • Contact with power lines
  • Equipment not used properly
  • Extension cords not used properly

Falls
Construction always involves people climbing great heights. In the American construction industry, the leading cause of deaths is falls, and as a result, it must be treated seriously and appropriately. All construction safety plans must contain provisions in order to protect workers from falling from dangerous heights. Here are a couple of hazards to manage:

  • Unprotected sides
  • Bad scaffold construction
  • Portable ladders not used properly

Struck-By
This category refers to dangerous contact between humans and heavy equipment. In the great majority of cases, cranes and trucks are the main cause of accidents and deaths. Apart from heavy vehicles, you must also watch out for falling objects and unstable walls.

Trenching & Evacuation
Contrary to popular belief, cave-ins are not the leading cause of accidents and fatalities when it comes to trenching. Here are a couple of other hazards to watch out for:

  • Not having enough oxygen in a closed space (which leads to asphyxiation)
  • Toxic fumes
  • Drowning
  • Unexpected contact with underground pipes and lines

Now that you know the leading causes of Construction Safety Accidents, it's time to take appropriate and immediate action to minimize the chance of those occurring any time soon.

Ensafe Planning Solutions has created a downloadable construction safety program for construction contractors who do not possess the knowledge, money or time to come up with their own. The plan complies with current US OSHA legislation and can be quickly and easily customized to any site in the United States.

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Martin Sejas

Ensafe Planning Solutions