Did you know the construction industry is one of the more dangerous ones you could work in? According to one report, it is the second most-dangerous industry to be in, after farming. This is perhaps not surprising, as there are many potential hazards on the average building site, no matter what size it is. We’re going to look at the more common accidents on a building site, so you are aware of the dangers if you work in this industry.
Falls from height
The construction industry often requires workers to work at height. This should be done only when necessary, and in the safest way possible for the task to be done. Scaffolding is often used when constructing new buildings, or when doing work on existing structures. HSE provides plenty of useful information about assessing the risks of working at height, and learning how to reduce those risks.
A fall from a platform, from scaffolding, or from any height can incur serious injuries. Some have been killed in falls, and those that survive often do so with permanent injuries that could even prevent them from working again.
Lifting and handling injuries
Moving equipment and supplies around a building site cannot be helped. But there are many ways this can be done. If supplies are too heavy to lift by hand, they should be lifted and moved using appropriate equipment for the job. This might mean using a crane, or something much smaller, such as a fork lift truck or even a pallet truck.
Back injuries, hand injuries, and other muscular and skeletal injuries can all be derived from lifting and handling tasks that put too much strain on the body.
Slips, trips, and falls
We’ve covered falls already, but it is also easy to injure yourself if you slip or trip up on a building site. Hence why these are among the more common accidents on a building site you could suffer from.
There are many reasons why slips and trips can occur, such as:
- Uneven ground on the building site
- Wet floors from spilled water or other products
- Tripping over obstructions, uneven floor levels, or piles of rubble or construction materials
- Tripping over cables
These are just a few examples, but you can see how slips, trips, and falls can easily account for many possible injuries, and are among the common accidents on a building site. Furthermore, Health and Safety Executive data confirms 23% of injuries stem from slips, trips, and falls in this industry.
Being struck by an object
This too can happen in many ways. For example, an object could fall onto you from above, in which case you would stand little chance of seeing it coming towards you. If it strikes you on the head, it could cause serious injury. Hence why protective hats must be worn by all those on a construction site. This means it is far less likely a head injury would occur.
It’s not just falling objects that pose a risk, however. Moving objects, such as vehicles, can also be very dangerous. Additionally, a crane may stay in one position while moving a load, but that load could swing from side to side and put people in danger if the task has not been properly thought through and risk-assessed prior to being completed.
Manual handling injuries
These can occur in many industries, but those working in the construction industry are prone to them because this is a very physical job. Common accidents on a building site can involve musculoskeletal injuries, and these are more likely to occur if people have not received manual handling training.
Manual handling doesn’t just involve lifting, either. Manual handling injuries can be caused through inappropriate pushing, carrying, or pulling things that are too heavy or awkward to manage.
Health and safety on a building site
As you can probably see, many of the more common accidents on a building site can be entirely avoided by taking appropriate measures to keep the site safe, and to keep workers safe. HSE has many guides and plenty of advice on health and safety in the construction industry, and these are designed to improve health and safety still further.
Risk assessments are the backbone of running a safe construction site, no matter the size or complexity. The basics of a risk assessment remain the same in each case, but a tailored approach should be taken to each site, because no two sites will have the same risks and factors involved.
But if you already know of the more common accidents on a building site because you have experienced one yourself, you may want to learn more about the chance of making a compensation claim, instead. Injuries can be mild and take mere days to recover from, but at the other end of the scale you will find the serious injuries – those that are life threatening. These may take many months to recover from, and there is the potential for permanent injuries or disablement to occur.
Been injured in one of these common accidents on a building site?
If you work on a building site and you’ve been injured at work, you might be wondering if you have good cause to claim compensation. For this to be a possibility, there must be proof of negligence on the part of someone else. This might be your employer, if they were negligent and did not follow good health and safety practice, or it might be another worker, depending on what occurred.
Get the answers today if you’ve been personally involved in one of the more common accidents on a building site, by calling the Accident Advice Helpline team. You can do this free on 0800 689 0500, or you can use your mobile to call 0333 500 0993 instead. You are assured of the most professional attention always, so you can see if our lawyers could open a no-win, no-fee* claim on your behalf. We are here to help you if we can.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown