working in construction

Construction Industry : Common Safety Mistakes to Avoid

Every year, thousands of construction workers are injured while on site. And on average, over 1,000 die. Here are some surprising statistics on accidents in the construction site from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA.

  • Falls and contact with equipment make up the majority of the accidents.
  • The construction industry sees the fatal falls, accounting for 51% of all falls in the United States.
  • Around 50% of serious workplace accidents go unreported every year.
  • Workers between the ages of 25 and 34 are likely to suffer injuries while working.
  • With over 1,000 deaths over a year, that makes the construction industry one of the most dangerous sectors to work in.
  • 15% of the workers’ compensation insurance was spent on workplace and on-site injuries of workers.

Many of these accidents could have been easily avoided if only employees were adequately trained, if safety regulations were not ignored and if dangerous equipment were serviced. Statistics from the National Safety Council also reinforces the fact that it pays to practice safety all the time.

For instance, many construction companies can save an average of $32,000 for every injury that could have been avoided.

To improve safety performance in a site, here are some of the commonly overlooked safety issues that should be prevented.

Lack of Housekeeping

Poor housekeeping frequently contributes to accidents. On the other hand, effective housekeeping helps control and eliminate workplace hazards. It is important to note that housekeeping is not just cleanliness or the state of being clean.

It includes maintaining halls and floors free from slip and trip hazards, upkeeping of drilling tools for constructions, equipment and machines, and inspecting of clean up processes to ensure removal of workplace hazards.

Housekeeping order is an ongoing operation. It is not a one-time thing; instead, it must be done regularly.

Improper Use of PPE or Personal Protective Equipment

protective equipment

Personal protective equipment is one of the best lines of protection against workplace accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, a survey of safety professionals found that noncompliance with PPE protocols was actually rather high among construction workers.

In fact, 98% of respondents answered positively when asked if they had observed workers not wearing the necessary safety equipment while on the job. To make matters worse, 30% said that this noncompliance happened on numerous occasions.

Noncompliance on Lockout Tagout Standards

Lockout Tagout processes are safety procedures put in place to make sure dangerous machines are properly shut off and prohibited from starting up until the completion of maintenance and repair work. These programs help protect workers from injury by the unexpected release of stored energy from equipment.

Any company that does not have a comprehensive lockout tagout program or is found to have violated these procedures will be issued safety violations or fines. According to OSHA, following the proper lockout tagout standards prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 non-fatal injuries every year.

Poor Communication

Proper and effective communication is crucial in every aspect of life. In the construction industry, the importance of communicating effectively cannot be overemphasized. Poor communication has many effects and consequences including cost overruns, disputes, project failures and worst, injuries and deaths.

One of the easiest ways to prevent unsafe conditions is to communicate the hazards and failures in processes that may have been noticed. This easily eliminates any potential risks in the workplace.

Many workplace incidents occur when work being done is non-compliant to certain rules and processes. It is important to understand that these standards were initially set up to prevent workplace accidents.

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