There are many beneficial and smart reasons to pursue a career in construction. Some of these reasons include: the fact that education and training don’t cost as much as a Bachelor’s degree, there are plenty of job opportunities and room for job growth, and you can easily make between $50,000 and $90,000 per year (depending on the type of job and location). But that does not mean that a construction job doesn’t come with risks.
All occupations have their risks, and all need rules, equipment, and other safety measures to ensure the safest possible working environment. Some jobs require a lot of these regulations since they can be more dangerous than others. Here are a few hazards associated with construction and how to avoid them.
Construction work hazards
Slipping and tripping
This type of hazard can happen in any occupation, but they are more common and can even be more dangerous on construction sites. With various materials and projects all going on at the same time, it’s highly likely that a worker can slip, trip, and/or fall.
Fortunately, almost all of these types of accidents can be avoided. Construction managers, especially, should ensure that the construction site is safe for the workers to move about and complete their tasks.
Construction workers are builders, so as their job title suggests, they are creating buildings, with some being significantly tall structures. This poses the risk for materials falling from high distances, and objects falling from heights can cause more damage if a person is struck by the object.
This is why it is important to have the proper safety equipment when working in construction, or any job. Head injuries are extremely likely when working in construction, and hard protective hats and other safety equipment should always be worn when employees are working.
It’s obvious that construction sites are loud, and prolonged exposure to this can cause hearing problems. Unfortunately, most construction equipment such as forklifts, jackhammers, bulldozers, chain saws, and even nail guns exceed 85 decibels (the number that OSHA cites can cause hearing loss when exposed for eight hours).
Again, this is why proper safety equipment is important. It is also important to make sure that safety equipment is used correctly, or else it is useless. All workers should be properly trained on how to do their jobs, as well as the proper use of safety equipment.
Electric shocks result from contact with live wires, whether hanging up above or lying on the ground. This hazard itself can result in other hazards, such as tripping and falling from great heights, not to mention causing electrocution. Anything involving electricity should be handled by workers who have received the proper training and education in electrical work.
Many times, electrical work is done by those who are not licensed electricians. This is where construction managers and general contractors should look to hire subcontractors, such as an electrician, to avoid an electrical-related death or injury.
Buildings under construction or even demolition sites have the potential for floors and structures to be unstable. Buildings can collapse and cause serious injuries. Again, construction site managers need to assess the risks of such circumstances and take all the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.
Projects that have or require trenches must be carefully evaluated. Project managers should make sure that it is secure and supported before work begins and inspect the trench before and during construction. Cutting corners and overlooking something as simple as this can cause more problems later.
Every job has its hazards, and construction is no exception. This does not mean that you shouldn’t pursue a career in construction, but it does mean that you and everyone else on the job have a responsibility to ensure that the workspace is safe for everyone. Even the smallest things overlooked can have devastating consequences.
Featured image: Will Suddreth/Unsplash