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Common construction injuries and accident prevention strategies

People who work in construction face greater risks of injuries than those who work in many other industries. Due to the nature of the job and the equipment used, both fatal and nonfatal injuries occur in a variety of ways. 

Although accidents do happen, many of the ones that cause injuries are preventable. There are things that all parties involved on a construction site can do to prevent injuries.   

Common causes of injuries

According to FindLaw, falls off of roofs, scaffolds, cranes and ladders are extremely common. These tend to cause more serious injuries, such as brain injuries or paralysis, or even death. Falling objects also result in spinal cord and brain injuries as well as contusions. There are a number of equipment-related injuries that occur from nail guns, forklifts and dumpsters. Overexertion and repetition are also common in the industry, which can lead to muscle strains, joint damage and heat stroke. Other common causes of injuries: 

  • Trench collapses 
  • Explosions and fires 
  • Building collapses 
  • Crushing and back over accidents 

Prevention strategies

According to EHS Today, deadlines and budget constraints both contribute to the many safety issues. Regardless, safety should be a priority. One main component of prevention is to plan. At the beginning of each shift, managers and workers should review the jobs for the day and determine what safety measures they will need. At the beginning of each day, managers should set safety expectations as well as ensure all employees have the proper safety equipment and that they know how to use it properly. 

Communication among team members also needs to be clear and effective. Along with verbal communication, signs and labels are helpful. Throughout the day, workers should be on the lookout for hazards and report them right away. The workplace should also be a non-threatening environment that encourages employees to speak up about safety concerns.