Construction jobs regularly rank as some of the most dangerous jobs in the country, and there are plenty of construction injury statistics to prove it. In 2017, for example, of the 4,674 worker fatalities that took place in the private sector, 20.7 percent of them happened to construction workers.
It’s no secret that construction jobs can be dangerous. A lot of people don’t realize how dangerous they are, though, or what kinds of accidents can happen to the people who work in this field.
Read on to learn more about the risks associated with construction jobs, as well as how you can avoid and handle construction injuries in the most appropriate way.
Risks of Construction Jobs
There are a lot of potential accidents that can happen on a construction site. The following are some of the most common ones that workers may experience:
Trips and Falls
Trips and falls happen often on construction sites.
A worker may trip of a cord, cable, or a loose object that wasn’t put away properly, for example. There’s also the risk that they could fall from a great height. This could be the result of faulty equipment, improper protocols, or a lack of attention on the part of the worker.
Trips and falls won’t always result in a serious construction injury. In some cases, though, they can lead to broken bones, concussions, or even death.
In addition to a worker falling and hurting themselves, workers can also get hurt if they’re hit by falling objects. If materials aren’t secured in the proper way, for example, they could come loose and fall on an unsuspecting worker.
Getting hit by a falling object could cause serious injuries to the head or limbs. It could even result in death depending on the weight of the object and where it hits the person down below.
Vehicle accidents can often contribute to construction accidents as well. These accidents could involve construction vehicles or regular vehicles depending on the location of the construction site.
For example, someone could be driving by a construction site and not see a worker. This, in turn, could lead to a serious accident or even death.
Vehicle accidents could also involve a collision of two construction vehicles, or a construction vehicle and a construction worker. This is why construction workers are supposed to wear reflective clothing while on the job and must undergo extensive training before they can drive certain types of vehicles or use certain types of machinery.
Construction sites are known for being noisy places. Constant exposure to loud noises can lead to serious hearing damage (and possibly even permanent deafness) in some cases. This is especially true when proper protection isn’t administered at the site or required by the site supervisors.
Vibration Tool Damage
The use of certain vibration tools can also lead to injuries and long-term damage. This often happens when workers are using tools that are out of date or are wearing them without proper protective equipment (such as anti-vibration gloves).
For example, it could contribute to damage in the nerves and tendons of the hands and wrists. This, in turn, can cause severe pain and discomfort. it could even lead to paralysis or a need for amputation.
How to Avoid Construction Site Injuries
At this point, if you work in the construction industry, you might be feeling a bit nervous about what can go wrong on the job. There are lots of steps you can take as a construction worker to avoid the accidents listed above, though, including the following:
Take Safety Training Seriously
Before you begin work on a construction site, you’ll likely be required to attend a certain number of safety training sessions. When you’re attending these sessions, take the information administered in them seriously.
Pay attention and take notes on what you can do to protect yourself on the site. The more you know, the easier it’ll be to prevent accidents and make sure you can get your work done in a productive way.
Wear Appropriate Clothing and Gear
Always wear appropriate protective clothing and gear while on the job.
This includes things like steel-toed boots and a hard hat to protect your feet and head from falling objects, as well as heavy-duty clothing that will shield your limbs from cuts, burns, and other injuries.
You should always wear a reflective vest, too, especially when you’re working near the roads or are on sites where you might be difficult to spot.
Use the Equipment in the Proper Way
When you’re using a piece of equipment, make sure you’re using it in the way that it’s intended to be used. Don’t mess around or try to take shortcuts to get a job done faster. If you don’t know how to use a particular piece of equipment, ask.
You might feel a bit self-conscious about doing this at first. Remember, though, that it’s better to ask and clarify than it is to guess and end up hurting yourself or another worker.
Report Potential Problems
If you notice something that seems like it could have the potential to be hazardous, report it right away. This might include materials that aren’t stored in a proper place or a cord or cable that serves as a tripping hazard.
The sooner you report these issues, the sooner they can be addressed. This, in turn, will help to keep you and your fellow workers safe while you’re on the job.
Keep Your Workspace Clean
Don’t forget to keep your workspace clean as well.
If you have a lot of clutter lying around, or if materials aren’t put back where they belong, you’re going to face a greater risk of having an accident or getting injured. You don’t want to be the person who puts someone else at risk, either, do you?
Pick up after yourself and you’ll have a much longer and safer career in construction.
How to Handle Construction Accidents
In the event that a construction accident does occur, it’s important to take appropriate action. This will help to keep other workers safe and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to care for your injuries.
Here are some essential steps you need to take after being in a construction accident:
Report the Accident
As soon as you can after an accident happens, report it to your supervisor. This will help to get the ball rolling when it comes to filling out paperwork and finding out if you’re eligible for a workers’ compensation settlement.
Don’t delay reporting an accident, as it will slow down the whole process. It could also cause your supervisors or the insurance company to question the severity of your injuries.
Seek Medical Care
Speaking of injuries, it’s also important to seek medical care as soon as you can after being injured.
Getting to a doctor will help you avoid complications from your injuries and help you get a clearer picture of what’s wrong after the accident. It helps you start creating a paper trail to back up your claim and ensure you’re compensated fairly, too.
Save Your Records
Be sure to save all of the records related to your accident. This includes accident reports, medical bills, and any other documents that can shed light on the value of your case and the severity of your injuries.
Store all of these documents in a folder or binder. That way, you’ll have easy access to them when you need to present them to an insurance adjuster, an attorney, or anyone else who’s involved in your case.
You should also take care to gather additional evidence related to your case.
This might include snapping pictures of the scene where the accident occurred and taking pictures of your injuries as soon as you can. Taking these actions helps to provide you with more information to support your case, and these extra details could work in your favor later.
If possible, talk to other workers who were present when the accident happened. They can provide statements verifying your story to the insurance company and/or higher-ups within the company.
Hire a Lawyer
Finally, be sure to hire a construction injury lawyer to help you with your case. The experts at https://www.injuredcalltoday.com/work-accidents/ recommend reaching out to a lawyer as soon as you can.
They’ll help to guide you through the process and ensure you’re taking the steps necessary to receive the compensation you deserve. They’ll make sure you avoid any missteps that could have a negative impact on your case as well.
Stay Safe Out There
There’s definitely a lot that can go wrong when working construction jobs. The good news, though, is that there’s also a lot you can do to stay safe and handle injuries in a responsible way.
Keep the information outlined above in mind if you work in the construction industry. It’ll help you stay safe on the job and also know what to do if an accident happens.
Check out some of our other work-related articles today as well. They’ll provide you with more information on how to keep yourself safe at work and get the most out of your job.