Building houses and high-rises in California and around the world is dangerous work. This fact is not surprising given all the heavy equipment builders operate, the heights they climb and the other risky duties their work entails.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction workers’ accidents caused 21.1 percent of private industry fatalities in 2016: “one in five worker deaths [in 2016] were in construction.” Besides the previously mentioned contributors, what else lends to this startling statistic?
Top construction workers’ accidents
OSHA outlines what some call the “Fatal Four,” that is, the four construction workers’ accidents that have caused the most fatalities in recent years. One of these is incidents in which workers get “caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment or material.”
Others include those cases where objects fall and inflict fatal blows because workers cannot get out of the way. Electrocutions, too, present significant risk; but falls – by far – have proven to be the most dangerous construction accident. In 2016, “384 out of 991 total deaths in construction” were due to falls, according to OSHA.
Tips for preventing on-the-job accidents
That is plenty of evidence for the hazards that construction workers face, but what – if anything – can lessen the risk and prevent some of the accidents?
ErgoScience, an organization striving to increase employee safety on the job, offers some advice for employers:
- Have potential employees perform a physical ability test before hiring them
- Offer safety training to all employees
- Maintain proper safety equipment and require employees to use it
- “Create a culture of safety in [the] workplace”
Finally, be sure all employees are aware of safety policies and procedures.