Working on a building site exposes you to a great deal of risks. Accidents at work and work-related illnesses are comparatively common.
Many injuries are fatal when working on a building site. This is particularly true of those caused by falls from height, explosions and fires, and incidents in which workers become trapped or struck by vehicles, objects or collapsing structures.
Illness and injury statistics
In 2014/15, the Health and Safety Executive reported that there were 69,000 cases of work-induced illness and 65,000 non-fatal injuries by building site accidents. During the same period, 35 construction employees sustained fatal injuries at work.
Common illnesses experienced when working on a building site
64 per cent of ill health at work in the construction industry are musculo-skeletal disorders. Approximately 20 per cent of workers reporting a work-related condition suffer with stress, anxiety or depression, and 15 per cent suffer with other illnesses, including:
- Occupational asthma
- Occupational cancer
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Skin diseases
Occupational deafness, carpal tunnel syndrome and vibration white finger have also been reported.
The most common construction site accidents reported during the 2014/15 reporting period were:
- Slips, trips and falls: 23 per cent
- Lifting, manual handling accidents: 22 per cent
- Falls from height: 19 per cent
- Being struck by objects: 11 per cent
These figures make it clear that looking after your health and personal safety while working on a building site is of utmost importance.
Staying safe when working on a building site
As an employee, you can prevent being injured at work by:
- Wearing provided personal protective equipment
- Following safe working procedures
- Following safe manual handling procedures
- Working in accordance to provided training
- Watching your step to prevent injuries by tripping, slipping or falling
- Reporting defective equipment, slip, trip or fall hazards, and any other hazards likely to cause work accidents, immediately
Construction industry employers must protect those working on a building site for them. This means providing safe working conditions, personal protective equipment, and adequate training in the use of machinery and other equipment. This is in addition to providing a safe working environment.
Ensuring equipment and machinery are well maintained and kept in good, safe working order is equally part of this duty.
If you were injured by a building site accident for which someone else was responsible, you have the right to claim industrial injury compensation.
To get started with your claim, call our Accident Advice Helpline freephone number, 0800 689 0500 from any landline phone, or dial 0333 500 0993 on your mobile now.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice