Top Events That Lead To Construction Accidents

Spencer Law Group Sept. 9, 2019

Top 5 Events or Exposures Leading to Construction Accident Injuries or Illnesses

1. Contact with Objects – 29,160 cases in 2016 (up from 26,550 cases in 2015)

Being struck by objects or equipment (19,760) was the leading event in this category with 7,650 being injured by a handheld object or equipment and most of those were caused by the object slipping or being swung by the injured worker (6,180). There were 5,220 construction accident injuries caused by a falling object or equipment striking a worker and 1,010 was by something the worker dropped.

There were 3,650 accident injuries caused by workers being struck against an object or piece of equipment. Of those, 810 were from being struck against a moving object or equipment like a moving part of the machinery (540) and 2,040 were from being struck against something stationary like stepping on an object (560).

There were also 3,260 construction accident injuries from workers being caught in or being compressed by equipment or objects. Being caught in running equipment or machinery caused 850 accident injuries and being compressed or pinched in shifting objects or equipment resulted in 670 accident injuries.

Safety Tips:

  • Avoid areas where overhead work is being done

  • Always keep your hard hat on at the jobsite

  • Use tool lanyards or netting to avoid knocking tools or materials to a lower level

2. Falls, Slips and Trips – 24,700 cases in 2016 (up from 23,860 total cases in 2015)

Falls to a lower level (12,130) caused more construction accident injuries than falls on the same level (8,310). Slips or trips without falls were responsible for 3,650 accident injuries.

Safety Tips:

  • Make sure fall protection is provided when working at height

  • Inspect all personal arrest systems to make sure harnesses, connecting devices and lanyards/lifelines are in good working orders

  • Keep walking surfaces clear of construction materials and debris

3. Overexertion – 21,150 cases in 2016 (down from 21,960 total cases in 2015)

Construction is hard, strenuous work and it’s easy to overexert yourself when carrying out daily tasks. Overexertion from lifting or lowering objects (7,210) was the leading cause of construction accident injuries in this category with 6,000 from a single episode of lifting an object. 2,610 were from pulling, pushing or turning and 1,680 were from holding, carrying or wielding. Another 5,550 were from other exertions such as bending, kneeling, twisting, climbing, reaching, etc.

Safety Tips:

  • Always wear a back brace when lifting heavy objects

  • Bend at the knees and use your legs to lift objects

  • Take frequent breaks when performing tasks that require repetitive motions or when you are feeling tired

4. Transportation Incidents – 3,470 cases in 2016 (up from 3,380 total cases in 2015)

Most of these accident injuries were from roadway incidents and vehicle collisions (2,460). There were also 740 injuries from pedestrians being struck by vehicles in work zones (480) or off the roadway (100) like on construction sites.

Safety Tips:

  • Always obey all traffic rules when operating vehicles on the road

  • Use spotters to help notify drivers of workers in their blind spots

  • Set up barricades and signs to notify highway drivers of work zones

For more safety tips, check out our 10 Road Construction Work Zone Safety Tips.

5. Exposure to harmful substance or environments – 2,960 cases in 2016 (up from 2,770 cases in 2015)

Exposure to extreme temperatures (1,470) with 800 to environmental heat and 630 from contact with hot objects or substances. Exposure to electricity led to 420 accident injuries in 2016.

Remember, proper safety training is the number one key to preventing construction accident injuries and keeping workers safe.

source: Construct Connect