Filled with hazardous chemicals and heavy machinery, construction sites are more dangerous, with more frequent safety risks, than most other workplaces. Construction workers take greater risks than those in other industries, yet they still have a right to a safe workplace.
Eastern Kentucky University identifies some of the most common safety risks on a construction site as well as advice on how to avoid accidents associated with each.
It is rare for a construction site not to have at least one trench dug. Trenches are necessary to lay foundations and run utility lines. Nevertheless, the sides of a trench can become unstable and collapse, trapping workers under the dirt.
To prevent a trenching accident, the walls of the trench should not be too steep. Also, workers should wear hard hats and have access to stable emergency exits when working in a trench.
The use of scaffolding is very common in construction to elevate both workers and materials to the required level. Falls on construction sites are common, and many involve scaffolding. Electrical injuries can occur when scaffolding is too close to overhead power lines.
To prevent accidents involving scaffolding, guardrails must be rigid and frequent inspections must take place. Workers should receive training on safely transporting materials upward and observing scaffolding weight limits.
Cranes make it possible to build large, complex structures. Nevertheless, there are safety risks associated with them due to their size and power. Cranes can cause injury if they make contact with someone or something when the boom is in motion. One way to prevent this is to barricade the swing radius.
It is also important to make sure the load is secure before operating the crane. Otherwise, it could fall on top of someone and cause injury.