People who work on construction sites are at risk of injury from slips, trips, and falls more often than any other type of construction accident. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, falls cause an estimated 15 percent of all general industry accidental deaths. The only type of accident that causes more deaths on a work site is automobile accidents.
If you want to create a safer workplace, then you need to understand what causes slips, trips, and falls on construction sites and know what actions to take to prevent them. Some of the effects of slips and falls on construction sites include:
- Serious injuries to the worker (possibly death)
- Lost time on the job
- Job progress slows
- Company’s insurance rates could go up
Construction companies and their workers share an interest in making a construction site a safer place. As we examine the top reasons for construction slips and falls, we will also offer suggestions on how to prevent these types of accidents.
Agents Responsible For Construction Site Accidents
Slipping On Liquid
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, nearly 85 percent of all construction worker’s compensation cases stem from workers slipping on slick floors covered in liquid. While preventing liquid spills on a construction site can be difficult, there are still steps that can be taken to prevent falls.
- Clean up all spills immediately. If the spill requires a special piece of equipment to be cleaned, then put up the warning signs to alert workers to the pending danger.
- Designate one person, or a group for larger construction sites, to be responsible for spill safety and educating other workers on how to prevent falls from spills.
- Be aware of the possibility that weather conditions can create slick surfaces and plan job responsibilities accordingly.
Tripping Over Scattered Debris
Construction job sites can sometimes get cluttered with building materials, equipment or other obstacles that create tripping hazards. Tripping on a construction site can cause serious injuries, and there are a few ways to help prevent tripping accidents and protect workers.
- Store materials in designated areas that have warning signs or barriers put up to warn people of tripping hazards.
- Make sure that all dark areas are properly lit to allow for safe access by all workers.
- Put up warning signs on any areas with uneven walking surfaces, or areas where temporary stairs may be uneven and dangerous. Erect railings in these areas to make it easier to navigate those areas without tripping.
Falling From Scaffolding
One of the biggest challenges any construction company faces is preventing falls from scaffolding. The higher the scaffolding is, the more prominent the danger becomes. There are several steps a construction company can take to make sure that the scaffolding they use is safe, and to reduce the number of falls experienced by workers.
- Have all scaffolding checked at least once a week by a certified safety engineer. Improperly constructed scaffolding can suddenly give way and cause a worker to fall. By having your scaffolding checked, you can prevent these types of falls and protect your workers.
- Insist that there be safety rails around the perimeter of every level of a scaffolding structure.
- Do not allow any holes in the floors of scaffolding that are not either surrounded by protective rails, or covered to allow for safe walking. Sometimes scaffolding structures use open floor areas to allow for supplies to be moved from one level to the next, or even to install stairs to make it easier for workers to move around the scaffolding structure. Always make sure that these floor holes are properly secured before work begins.
If you are injured on a construction site due to a slip, trip or fall accident, then call an injury attorney immediately. An injury attorney will help you to talk to the insurance companies, deal with worker’s compensation and assist you in getting the resources you need to get healthy and back to work.