Injuries happen in every kind of workplace, but one of the most hazardous workplaces in America is a construction site. About one out of every five fatal on-the-job injuries are at construction sites.
The even greater tragedy is that, with the proper training and equipment, some of these deaths were preventable. The following factors are the top causes of construction industry deaths, which can be partly mitigated with the proper equipment and training.
Slips, trips and falls
Every year slips, trips and falls account for greater than one-third of construction industry fatalities. Often these incidents are often a result of shaky surfaces, improper use or failure to use protective equipment and hazardous use of scaffolding and ladders.
To safeguard your workers, ensure your ladders and scaffolds meet safety standards and are correctly sized for the project. Also make sure that work surfaces are stable, free of holes and have good traction.
A good tip for fall prevention is the “six-foot rule.” If employees are doing work at least six feet above another surface, they should be protected by equipment like guardrails, harnesses and safety nets.
Regardless of height, it’s always a great idea to make sure that your staff members have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) like protective headgear and non-skid work boots.
Struck by vehicles and objects
Ensure your worksite has clear routes for vehicles and that workers understand how to avoid putting themselves in a position to be hit by a vehicle or object.
Misuse of heavy equipment like cranes and forklifts also plays a part in these kinds of injuries. Make sure your workers are correctly trained on the proper use of this equipment and you’ll minimize injuries to both drivers and pedestrians.
Many fatal injuries happen due to the structural failure of construction site trenches and scaffoldings. Trenches that are five feet or deeper should have ample safety measures in place and wall support.
Poor construction of scaffolding also leads to many fatal injuries annually in the construction industry. Poorly-built scaffolding doesn’t just cause falls, a collapse can lead to people on the ground being hit by the scaffolding or by equipment. Scaffolding can cause a wide range of problems if used improperly, like in bad weather, near power lines or holding too much equipment.
Worksites tend to be filled with hazardous materials. To prevent hazardous exposure, your workers should have access to material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all on-site chemicals. They should also have the proper PPE necessary to work with any hazardous materials. Ensure your workers are trained on MSDS and the correct handling of various chemicals.
At Nationwide Temporaries, we collaborate with our clients to ensure that worksites are as safe as possible. If your construction project requires a temporary labor solution, please contact us today.