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Top Safety Concerns on Construction Sites

It does not take anything extraordinary to bring danger to a construction worksite. A tool used regularly can result in a hazardous incident. A general lack of proper planning is also a huge issue.

Take a look at the top 10 risks on construction sites.

1. Faulty ladders – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, estimates that some 36 fatalities at construction sites each year are due to stairway or ladder accidents. Hazards increase if the ladder is not secured correctly, has a slippery substance on the rungs, or is faulty.

2. Improper use of scaffolding – Some 2 million construction workers use scaffolding routinely, but it poses a risk if not assembled correctly or if used incorrectly. In addition, construction workers should always wear a body harness when working on one and receive proper training.

3. Inadequate equipment at excavation sites – Improper use of machinery, lack of personal protective equipment and falling loads all make excavation of any kind potentially fatal. Locate all underground pipes and electrical wiring in advance to reduce potential hazards.

You can also:

· Prohibit employees from standing under lifted loads

· Use an alert system when machinery is operating

· Ensure the operator has a clear view of the excavation site at all times

4. Lack of fall protection – An inadequate amount of fall protection around scaffolding or other elevated surfaces is a true hazard to workers. This can result in serious injuries or even fatalities due to falls. Some protective measures to take include:

· Use guardrails and safety nets

· Wear personal protective gear such as hard hats

· Ensure all structures are secure

5. Improperly maintained stairways – A lack of railing or debris on stairways can be hazardous. Make sure handrails are in place and steps are free of liquid or debris that may cause slips. Some 25,000 injuries occur each year from slips and falls on stairways. For better employee protection, assemble temporary stairways at a 30-degree angle. Include wooden treads or those made from other non-stick materials.

6. Lack of head protection – Head contact with fixed or falling objects or electrical hazards can result in traumatic brain injuries or even death. Wear hard hats in good condition and replace them if there has been any impact.

7. Poorly constructed trenches – Dozens of injuries and fatalities occur each year due to unprotected or poorly constructed trenches. Avoid:

· Unsecured walls

· Lack of sloping

· Lack of shielding or trench boxes

Surround trenches with significant barriers to safeguard against hazards involving workers or machinery falling into them.

8. Operating forklifts without proper training – Every year, about 95,000 workers are injured while operating heavy equipment such as forklifts. In addition, forklift drivers experience nearly 100 fatalities each year, making it imperative that all employees get proper certification before handling such equipment. Safety checks should be performed on all equipment before using it.

9. Improper crane use – A fallen load, getting hit by the swing radius, a lack of proper inspection and operation of a crane can all be fatal. Fatalities also occur when a crane comes in contact with overhead electrical lines. Be aware of your surroundings and drive at safe speeds.

10. Failure to communicate hazards – Burns, explosions and traumatic brain injuries can all result from a failure to communicate hazards involving chemicals or unsafe conditions. Make sure all workers are aware of how to communicate hazards to coworkers or supervisors.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.