A construction site may be one of the most dangerous places to work. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that accidents in the construction industry numbered close to 78,000.
Almost 50,000 of those accidents are what the Occupational Health and Safety Administration considers the most common mishaps on construction sites. OSHA divides these into four categories:
The BLS stated that falls are the greatest cause of construction site injury. Most long-lasting injuries such as paralysis or TBI may involve falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds. Falls may happen when there is no use of fall protection, when employees work alone or when employees work during bad weather.
- Struck by object
A struck-by incident is contact or impact between a person and an object or piece of equipment. As determined by OSHA, categories of struck-by hazards are:
- Struck-by flying object
- Struck-by falling object
- Struck-by swinging object
- Struck-by rolling object
Damage to the body may result in traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries. Severe blunt force trauma may keep a worker out of work for months or unable to return to work at all.
Caught-in/between injuries result when a worker gets crushed or pinned between two or more objects. When an injury results from crushing, the accident is a caught-in/between. Caught events include:
- Crushed in a cave-in
- Pulled into or caught in machinery
- Crushed between rolling or shifting objects
The severity of the injury depends on the amount of force, the length of time and the part of the body involved. Crush injuries often affect the extremities and may cause paralysis, organ damage and limb amputation.
Circuit breakers, junction boxes, transformers and light fixtures may cause electrocution if there are live wires. A person may suffer severe burn injuries, and the electric shock may induce ventricular fibrillation, a serious form of heart arrhythmia that results in cardiac arrest. Electrical currents running through the brain and spinal cord may trigger a stroke or paralysis.