The Most Common Construction Accidents and Injuries in Texas.
Our country depends on construction workers to build our homes, construct the building’s businesses operate in, and pave and repair our roads. But being a construction worker is hardly an easy job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it’s estimated that over the course of a 45-year long career, a construction worker has a 1-in-200 chance of sustaining a fatal, on-the-job injury.
There are a huge number of ways construction site accidents and injuries can occur. Between all the heavy machinery and powerful tools involved and the fact that workers often have to work at high elevations or in tight, enclosed spaces, it’s very easy to be injured on a construction site if construction safety isn’t taken seriously.
Causes of Construction Accidents
Although there are so many ways for construction injuries to happen, certain types of accidents tend to happen more frequently than others. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a government agency that oversees workplace safety, has what they call the “fatal four” construction site accidents. The “fatal four” (as termed by the US Department of Labor’s OSHA) accidents were responsible for 60.6% of all construction worker deaths in 2014:
- Falls: By far the most common construction site accident. Several of OSHA’s 10 most commonly issued citations for construction sites all involved things that could lead to falls, such as inadequate fall protection, scaffolding problems, and unsafe ladders.
- Electrocution: Electrocutions are the second most common type of fatal construction site accident. Issues related to electrical components, wiring methods, and other electrical equipment are also frequently issued situations by OSHA.
- Struck By Object: Since construction sites commonly involve people working on several levels or have beams moving around, it’s very easy for workers to be struck by falling objects or beams being moved around if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
- Caught-In/Between: A fatal caught-in/between accident can occur in several ways where a construction worker might succumb to serious if not fatal accidents on-the-job. A limb might get caught in a piece of equipment, the worker could be crushed by falling debris, or a worker could get trapped between immovable objects.
Also Common Causes
- Failure to use appropriate protective gear – Hardhats, safety glasses and other personal protective equipment should always be worn on construction sites to prevent injury.
- Repetitive motion injuries – When the body is repeatedly asked to do the same things again and again, the muscles and soft tissues can become worn and damaged, limiting mobility and causing pain.
In addition to these top injury causes, workers on a construction site could also be hurt as a result of traffic accidents, a ladder’s collapse, malfunctioning tools or equipment, errors made by other workers and accidents with tools or machinery.
Workers on construction sites who experience these or other accidents can sustain a variety of serious injuries, including:
- Eye injury, including vision impairment or blindness
- Broken bones
- Knee and ankle injury
- Neck, shoulder or back injury
- Spinal cord injury, including damage that can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Illnesses caused by toxic chemical exposure
- Head injury and/or brain injury.
In the most tragic of cases, the injuries sustained by the construction worker will be fatal.