This preventable job risk causes many construction fatalities

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Construction Accidents

Construction work is dangerous for a variety of different reasons. Construction professionals often need to be on the job even during times of severe weather. They work with dangerous equipment and at significant elevations.

Construction workers frequently command competitive wages in part because they accept a degree of risk by working in the construction industry. There are ways for companies to mitigate some of the most significant risk factors for construction professionals. Unfortunately, one of the top causes of fatal injury and severe injury at construction sites is a preventable issue that employers may overlook.

Falling objects can cause severe injury

A review of the top causes of fatal construction incidents shows that a few types of risk cause the vast majority of construction worker fatalities. For example, falls from a significant elevation remain a leading cause of worker fatalities despite public awareness of this risk. A worker falling is not the only gravity-related incident that features in the top causes of construction worker deaths.

Struck-by incidents are also a constant safety concern. According to a breakdown of struck-by fatalities in construction by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), roughly 75% of fatal struck-by incidents relate to heavy machinery. However, the remaining 25% of struck-by fatalities involved falling objects or materials. Workers doing their job at a location below other employees never know when someone above them could make a mistake and drop something or knock it off of a platform, leading to potentially deadly struck-by incidents.

Just like when people fall, most incidents involving falling equipment or supplies are preventable with the use of the right restraints and construction practices. Unfortunately, employers focused on efficiency may encourage workers to bend or break rules related to safety tethers and other devices intended to prevent items from falling from a significant elevation because of the time involved in their use.

Those struck by falling objects may die. They could also develop traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and even spinal cord injuries because of an incident that occurred while they worked. Understanding the causes of construction worker injuries – and the rights of workers in the event of an injury – can both help employees to better avoid dangerous scenarios and to take appropriate action if they get hurt on the job.