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Avoiding Construction Site Hazards

Avoiding Construction Site Hazards | Health and Safety | Scoop.it

The Construction Industry is one of the most hazardous industries to work in the United State. With over 6.5 million people working at construction site it is of course one of the largest and biggest industries in the United States. This Construction Industry has all sorts of hazards lurking in virtually every area.

This has caused the construction industry to pay a major premium in health insurance. Occupational Safety is a major concern at all construction sites. Major education and training programs are underway all over the country. This has lead to a large reduction in work related injuries. Construction safety is a primary concern of all construction companies.  

The most injuries are caused by falls. Falls can occur from any number of areas in a construction site. Ladders alone will account for over 24,000 injuries and about 36 fatalities a year. To combat this construction companies must make sure the people who use the ladder are competent and that the ladder is long enough for the task. Falls and other injuries can also occur when workers use a scaffold. Scaffolds must be secure and sturdy. The scaffold must be able to carry a minimum of 4 times its intended use. Scaffold related injuries number about 4500 and nearly 50 fatalities a year.

 The stair way may seem safe but accidents occur here in great numbers as well. Construction companies need to keep the stairways free of objects and clean up any spills and try and keep the area dry. Construction site are full of trenches and other low-lying hazards. With trenches causing dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries construction companies have come up some standards to avoid unnecessary accidents. Workers should never enter unprotected trenches. Wear protect gear and beware.

Another type of hazard for the construction worker is being struck by something. Construction site have people and equipment moving about all the time. Construction sites are beehive of movement of men and material. Cranes both great and small are on construction sites moving supplies, tearing down objects and in general just a swinging mass of injury waiting to happen. Bulldozers are needed to move earth and material all over the place. Trucks of all types habit the construction site. Injury by trucks is the most common struck by injury. These behemoths must keep moving to keep the construction project on time. Forklifts run a close second, as it is difficult to see around the objects being lifted.

While there are still many more hazards in the construction industry these are the greatest and most common causes of both injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. Construction companies and Local, State and federal governments have worked together to reduce the likely hood of injuries and fatalities at a construction site. It is a great deal of work but all agree the effort that has been made is well worth the investment. It takes time to learn the trade and avoid the hazards but education and training will reduce and prevent more injuries than anything else.

 

Source: http://www.osea.com

Jennifer Winget's insight:

Construction site hazards abound but with proper training, education and equipment injuries and death can be greatly reduced. The industry and the government have worked together to reduce the number of injuries seen at construction site.

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Dylan's curator insight, May 15, 2014 10:22 PM

Hazards in a construction site are always going to be there, it is an unfortunate however inevitable factor. This article explains that you are going to face certain hazards on a construction site and gives an insight on how to control them, specifically fall hazards, and being struck by something; which in their opinion are two of the most important and critical hazards faced on a construction site.

 

Falls on a construction site are usually easily controlled, however this hazard is commonly overlooked as it is such a simple task, for example climbing a ladder. According to this article, ladder accidents alone are accountable for 24000 injuries a year. There is really only a couple ways to tackle such an issue, and that is to only allow competent and trained workers to attempt such a task. basically, if you do not know what your doing, do not do it. Yes, there is always a first time for everything, nut before that happens you need to make sure you are trained in the area. Also, you just need to take more care in what you do, most mistakes occur because of silly errors which are usually caused by misconception of the task, defined by the workers opinion. 

 

Falling objects in a construction site is another highly disregarded hazard, weather an object is in motion purposely, or by accident, it is a serious injury and can be life threatening. As explained in the article heavy machinery is always going to be moving on a construction site, bulldozers moving ground, cranes movies material and objects cross site, this is always going to be a major hazard in the construction site. The only way to control this is to be careful and aware, not only of your own actions but others around you. 

 

 

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The Interconnected Nature of Workplace Safety

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One simple, careless decision can lead to a long string of unfortunate events. When safety in the workplace is not kept up to par, an employee can get hurt. The employee can lose quality of life to varying degrees. For example, an obstruction in a walkway could cause an employee to fall. The fall could result in the employee being annoyed and carrying on with the workday, but it could also lead to a lifetime of back pain and diminished work capacity. The simple act of making sure walkways are clear of hazards could potentially save a lot of time, money, and discomfort. It might even save a life. Due to the random nature of which employee might be affected by unsafe practices; every employee has a personal interest in maintaining workplace safety.

A very large part of a job is the social aspect of the job. With reputations that precede the reputable, having one that implicates an employee as an unsafe worker is bound to cause conflict and create obstacles for that employee. Nobody wants to work with a person that has a reputation for putting coworkers in danger. From a management perspective, nobody wants to employ a worker that could tarnish the reputation of the company. Companies that have a reputation for being unsafe do not attract workers or customers, and that is just bad for business. The social interest that every worker has in maintaining workplace safety should not be overlooked.

One of the very obvious motivations for maintaining safety in the workplace is the economic interest that every person has. To use the example of an obstructed walkway again, should an employee sustain injuries in a fall, there is an economic loss for many parties. The employee experiences a loss in wages from time spent healing. The company could take a loss in production and therefore a loss in profit. The company may also lose some additional money if the company is financially liable for the losses sustained by the injured employee. If the company is a provider to other companies, those companies may also experience a loss in revenue due to the lowered production.

All of these tie together in a way that makes it clear that workplace safety is in every person's best interest. Whether on a personal level, a social level, or an economic level, when workplace safety is not held as important as it should be and an employee is injured, every person in that company is affected, as well as many outside of the company. One careless mistake can lead to a loss in quality of life for the injured and the family, can damage several reputations, and affect the economic situation of those involved. All in all, when ignored, workplace safety can snowball into a very large problem, but when care is taken for safety, the snowball can roll up the hill instead.

Jennifer Winget's insight:

There are several factors that define why safety in the workplace is important. Every employee has an interest in overall workplace safety, even though it may not be realized.

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