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6 Common Dangerous Construction Site Mistakes
February 01, 2021

Construction is a laborious and an unpredictably dangerous industry. It demands long hours and it is physically exhausting. Construction projects are often a massive undertaking and usually there’s a lot happening on on-site. When left unchecked, accidents are bound to happen. Here’s a list of the most common construction site accidents and injuries and how they can affect your workers and your infrastructure project in the long run. Slips and falls Falls are one of the most common types of construction injuries. Workers are often required to work at dizzying heights, on scaffolding, ladders, cranes, and other heights. Falling from these heights often result in lengthy injuries and sometimes, death. As the contracting company, you are responsible for protecting your workers.Every construction company is advised to ensure that all ladders, scaffolding, and other height hazards receive regular maintenance. Failure to comply makes the business liable for any on-site injuries.Construction sites are also prone to tripping accidents. It’s common to encounter uneven ground, open holes, tools, cords, wires, and slippery areas on a construction site. If left lying around, workers, and even nearby pedestrians, may be at risk of slipping, falling, and injuring themselves.Make sure your scaffolding is installed properly and have sufficient guardrails wherever necessary. As an extra precaution, equip your workers with safety climbing gear like harnesses and rope grabs.
Falling debris For any construction worker to perform their job above ground level, they will have to bring up materials, tools, machinery, wooden planks, and other various heavy, hard, and/or sharp objects. These too, like their human operators, are also at risk of falling and causing serious and/or life-threatening head injuries to pedestrians passing by below.Similar to preventing slips and falls, fixing scaffolding and installing guardrails are vital to construction safety. On the other hand, fences and barricades can help reduce the amount of objects from falling on your workers on the lower floors. Having safety nets above sidewalks and roads can also help prevent debris from falling on passing civilian and/or cars.
Machinery accidents Working in construction often means operating heavy machinery. From canes and bulldozers, to jackhammers and excavators, even the slightest human error or malfunction in these tools can lead to some very dangerous accidents.In fact, you won’t have to look very far for an example. There has already been an incident earlier this year involving a fallen crane in Makati that went on to hurt two people, damaging both government and personal properties in the process.Heavy machinery has and will always be a major risk, especially due to the fact that operators can’t always see everything they need when operating those machines. Safeguards, situational awareness, spotters, and safety offers are all necessary for preventing machinery accidents.
Electrocutions Construction workers need machines to build. Machines need power to be operated. Power means electricity. One of the more common accidents on a construction site, improper handling of or unmaintained equipment can often lead to electrical malfunctions. Contact with exposed wires and electrically-charged metal objects are also major causes of death and injury due to electrocution among workers.It’s all well and good having trained electricians on your construction site but what about the others? Non-electrical workers have a general lack of basic electrical safety knowledge. Try asking around and most workers would not probably be even aware of the minimum clearance distances from power lines. And as always, regular safety inspections should never be overlooked.
Fires and explosions Due to the many flammable chemicals, pressurized containers, and heat-powered tools like flame torches, a construction site is a complete fire hazard just waiting to happen. The potential scenarios are endless and pose a very real threat to any construction project. And the possible setbacks only grow as the project nears completion.It is important that you are able to take action in controlling ignition sources like sparks or flames from welding tools, including cigarette butts. Make sure that electrical installations in the building have the sufficient capacity for the intended design and must be installed, inspected, and maintained by competent electricians.And while it may be an unpopular rule for your employees, enforce a strict no smoking rule within the construction premises.
Fatigue Construction personnel work long hours doing physically demanding labor, making them vulnerable to fatigue. This combination of long work hours fatigue, and heavy machinery make for a deadly combination.Make sure your employees take regular and quality rest breaks during their working day. Schedule tasks suitably throughout a work period. Our ability to be alert isn’t constant throughout the day. For a lot of people, their concentration is lowest between 3PM to 5PM. During these hours, try to avoid doing critical construction jobs which include tasks performed at a height, tasks with manual handling demands (construction machinery), tasks where a worker has to enter a confined space, and many others.
Also, as much as possible, negotiate overtime with your employees if it’s required. Monitor and place limits around overtime worked and never incentivize working excessive hours. Your workers are people, too. And as a contractor, you are responsible over their well-being. *** The author of this article contributed in their own personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of COCOGEN Insurance.