What are the Top Safety Hazards in Construction?
Construction sites are complex and dynamic environments, with an ongoing mix of heavy machinery, manual labor, and ever-changing project phases. As working conditions and projects evolve, construction workers are vulnerable to a wide range of safety hazards.
Whether you are an on-site contractor or someone who has been injured in a construction site accident, understanding these risks can help protect you and others while working in the construction industry.
Our NYC construction accident lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC represent workers who sustain injuries in construction site accidents in New York City and surrounding areas. Contact our lawyers if you or your loved one was injured due to safety hazards at work.
Top Safety Hazards on Construction Sites
Let’s discuss six of the top safety hazards present in construction sites and provide valuable insights into how these challenges can be addressed.
Working at Heights
One of the most significant hazards on construction sites is the potential for falls from elevated surfaces. Whether it’s a scaffold, ladder, or roof, workers often find themselves working at great heights with limited protection.
Inadequate fall protection equipment, unstable working platforms, and human error all contribute to a significant percentage of construction-related accidents. Responsible parties must ensure proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), regular inspection of working platforms, and enforcing strict adherence to safety regulations can help mitigate this hazard.
Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls from heights are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for one in three deaths in construction.
With the constant whir and rumble of machinery, construction sites are notoriously loud. Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can cause irreversible damage to a worker’s hearing. Employers must assess the noise levels in the working environment and implement engineering controls to reduce noise exposure or provide suitable hearing protection equipment. Additionally, regular hearing tests and noise assessments can help flag potential issues and take preventive measures, safeguarding workers’ long-term health.
From cranes to forklifts, moving objects pose significant hazards to workers on construction sites. Being struck by a loading vehicle or caught by moving equipment can result in severe injuries, often leading to extended time away from work and substantial medical bills. Ensuring clear communication among operators, strict adherence to equipment guidelines, establishing clearly marked zones, and providing well-maintained PPE can all help reduce the risks of moving object-related incidents.
In older buildings, many construction materials may contain asbestos. When these materials are disturbed during demolition, repair, or renovation, asbestos fibers are released and pose a grave health risk to workers, with the potential to cause long-term respiratory diseases. Employers must be aware of this risk and establish an asbestos management program to identify and manage asbestos-containing materials on-site. This includes providing training, proper PPE, and communicating potential hazards to workers.
Electricity is another leading cause of accidents on construction sites. It is often taken for granted, but exposure to live wires, overloading of circuits, and improper use of electrical equipment can lead to severe injuries and fatalities. To mitigate these risks, employers should ensure that electrical installations and equipment are regularly inspected and maintained. Workers should also receive training on the safe use of electricity and routinely participate in electrical safety awareness programs.
Poor ergonomics, incorrect lifting techniques, and repetitive movements are common causes of injuries in construction. Manual handling hazards can lead to long-term injuries, impacting workers’ physical health and well-being. Employers must provide training and education on proper lifting and carrying techniques, utilizing mechanical aids when appropriate. Encouraging workers to take breaks and implementing the correct ergonomics in the work environment can help reduce strain injuries and future medical issues.
Injured in a Construction Accident? Contact Leitner Varughese PLLC
Working in the construction industry is a rewarding but dangerous occupation. By identifying and understanding the top safety hazards, employers and workers can take appropriate measures to create a safer working environment for everyone. If you are a victim of a construction site accident, consider contacting our lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC. We can help you understand your options for compensation. Call 212-671-1110 today for a free case review.