Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), injury rates in the construction industry are much higher than the national average. These injuries are usually because of one of four construction hazards that OSHA has identified as the most common:
- Equipment/Vehicle Accidents
- Collapsed Trenches
Equipment failures, inadequate protective systems, and unsafe work practices are to blame for most of these accidents. Addressing the causes around these top four types of accidents will prevent mishaps and keep construction workers safe.
A good way to start is with a Daily Log Book. If you regularly inspect the construction site, and focus on preventing the most common construction hazards, you'll give yourself the best chance of success.
Let's explore why the top four accidents happen and how logging daily activity can help you avoid them.
Falls are usually caused by failure to use harnesses, improper use of ladders and scaffolds, and uncovered floor openings.
Always be on the lookout for these safety hazards and log them. Maintain records for inspections of ladders, scaffolding, and safety equipment. Having a record of unsafe practices to reference in a safety meeting will make you much more effective and convincing.
Equipment and vehicle accidents happen when drivers don't see workers.
Examine the job site and look for employees who might be in compromising positions, such as in between a stationary object and a moving vehicle. Recording this in your book will help because workers aren't always aware of their surroundings.
Collapsed trenches occur when protective systems are inadequate.
Find a qualified engineer to inspect deep trenches. Routinely log their inspection reports, especially if there's been heavy rain or impact to the trench. Also, make sure that workers can escape quickly by positioning ladders nearby.
Failure to take account of utilities before starting the job causes electrocutions.
Making notes of the location of power lines when using ladders or scaffolds will keep everyone safe. Inspect the construction site regularly. Equipment gets moved around and if you're not keeping track daily, someone may get too close to a power line.