5 Hidden Dangers on the Construction Site
Construction sites are high risks areas, it’s undeniable. In fact, in a 2014 survey featured by Time, construction laborers had the third highest number of deaths, next to truck drivers and agricultural workers. Take a look our list of 5 hidden dangers you might not always consider when on the construction site.
1.Tools and Machinery
There’s this so-called “Blue Finger”, technically known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. It’s a painful condition which is caused by excessive use of ground working equipment and vibrating power tools, like riveters, grinders, drills, chainsaws, and jackhammers.
Once you have the syndrome, it can be irreversible, so taking the necessary countermeasures is really important. Ideally, the best form of prevention lies in the hand of employers. As much as they care about productivity and efficiency, they must also exert the same kind of effort in maintaining safety. They should provide tools with lower handle vibration or reduce the time of the workers’ exposure per day. On the laborers’ end, they can follow some safety practices, such as keeping the hands warm, getting rid of smoking, gripping their tool as lightly as possible, keeping the tool well-maintained, using ISO-certified gloves that cover the fingers fully, taking a 10-minute break from using the tools each and every hour, and seeking medical help if HAVS symptoms are felt.
2. Aerial Threats
Falling debris, heavy buckets, and scaffolding can cause serious injuries to construction site workers. Any object dropped from 64 feet high hits the ground in just 2 seconds. Thus, aerial threats can potentially strike people before they know it.
The safety measures that must be followed to minimize aerial threats include safely organizing and tethering all objects at the aerial job site, safely storing and transporting objects to and from the aerial job site, and obliging laborers to wear hard hats and steel toes at work.
3. Airborne Materials and Particles
The heavy activities going on in a building construction site could kick into the air a heavy dose of dust and other harmful materials. For construction laborers on the site where asbestos is everywhere, the risk is even more troubling.
The workers must wear personal protective equipment, and their work clothing must not allow dust collection.
4. Negligent Machine Operation
Some workers operating heavy machinery with slips can cause a great deal of damage and injury. Sudden changing of direction or backing up is the usual cause of this trouble. All machine operators must be experienced and well-trained to minimize operation slips.
5. Power Lines and Electrical Cables
Every year, around 3 construction laborers are electrocuted while at work on domestic and/or commercial buildings. Electrocution is the 4thleading cause of death throughout the totality of the construction labor force. To avoid further risks, the management must comply with the electrical safety regulations of OSHA and should train their people on electrical safety. Construction workers must work with proper personal protective gear and use appropriate tools when testing or de-energizing live electrical parts.
These are some of the threats and safety measures that can help construction workers migrate some of the risk involved. Indeed, even the riskiest type of job can pose less, if not zero risks with proper precautions set in place for maximum safety.