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3 common construction risks and how to avoid them

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | Firm News

Compared to many other occupations, construction is more inherently dangerous because of the potentially harmful chemicals and large pieces of machinery involved.

Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent injuries on construction sites. Eastern Kentucky University describes some of the most common construction hazards. Knowing what the risks are can help with avoidance.

1. Cranes

Many construction projects would be impossible without cranes to lift the building materials up and transport them many stories above the ground. Nevertheless, cranes can be dangerous if either the line or the boom hits a power line or if the load strikes a person or falls on him or her. Crane operators should receive training not to swing loads over people. An inspection of the crane and the surrounding environment, including barricading of the swing radius, should take place before work on the crane begins.

2. Forklifts

Forklifts are necessary to construction work, but they also cause approximately 95,000 injuries to workers every year. Forklift operators should receive extensive training to wear seat belts, limit movement with the load elevated and control speed and braking at all times, especially when conditions are slippery. In addition, regulations prevent unauthorized modifications to forklifts and require that they undergo frequent inspections.

3. Trenching

During a construction project, there are many situations in which it may be necessary to dig deep trenches in the ground. Disturbing the ground can make the trenches unstable. If a trench collapses, it can endanger workers that may be working in it at the time. They can become buried alive and potentially die of suffocation. To prevent trenching accidents, there are limits to how steep the sides can be and requirements for easily accessible exits at regular intervals.

Precautions such as these may reduce the number of construction accidents. However, it is difficult to control every variable, and injuries may still occur.