What Are the Causes of Accidents on Construction Sites?

Construction sites are dangerous places. In 2016, more than 5,000 workers died on building sites throughout the U.S. in the course of performing their jobs. Construction safety supplies such as hard hats, harnesses, barricades and signage can go a long way toward helping to ensure a safe working environment for contractors and other building professionals.

The Fatal Four

Four types of accidents on construction sites are so common and so deadly that officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have nicknamed them “The Fatal Four.” These accidents are falls, getting struck by an object, electrocution and getting crushed by an object.

• Falls: Falling accounts for approximately 35 percent of all fatalities on construction sites. Many falls can be traced to the absence of adequate guardrails or barricades along open-sided floors.

• Getting struck: Roughly 10 percent of all deaths that occur on construction sites involve getting struck by an object. OSHA officials speculate that many of these fatalities could have been prevented had the instigators and victims of these incidents had had adequate safety training.

• Electrocution: When a person or a piece of equipment comes into contact with an uninsulated electrical source or power line, they’re at risk for electrocution. These types of accidents are often the result of worker careless, which can be eliminated with proper training. They account for approximately 9 percent of all fatalities on construction worksites.

• Getting crushed: Crushing accidents occur when a worker’s body, or part of his or her body, is compressed between two objects. It should be common sense not to let your guard down when you’re standing between an immoveable object and a powerful piece of moving equipment, but sometimes construction site workers are concentrating so hard on the task at hand that they forget to take proper precautions.

Other Types of Construction Site Accidents

There are many other types of construction site accidents as well. Accidents involving ladders are one of the leading causes of long-term disability claims. Accidents involving scaffolding can often be traced back to a manufacturer’s negligence or to improper maintenance.