As a construction worker, you may already know that you are working in one of America’s deadliest industries. Hundreds of construction workers across the country, including in Ohio, lose their lives on the job each year. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported 937 fatalities in the construction industry in 2015 alone. You may not be able to prevent all accidents on the job site, but some you can, by keeping safety in mind at all times.
You have probably heard of the “fatal four.” This construction term refers to the four types of accidents in the construction industry that cause the most deaths – falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, or being pinned or caught between an object. Accidents involving the fatal four were responsible for 64.2 percent of construction site deaths in 2015. OSHA officials estimate that if companies could eliminate the fatal four, 602 construction workers in America would live to see the next year.
So, how do you do your part to avoid becoming another statistic of the fatal four? Observing safety standards is one of the most important answers. You would do well to remember the following tips:
- Wear your safety gear whenever the situation applies, such as hard hats in areas where objects might fall and harnesses when you are working at heights.
- Be sure to shut off power cables before working on or near them. Always check your power tools for damaged cords, keep cords away from water and wear the proper footwear for working in electrified environments.
- Always use extreme caution when working with heavy machinery and moving equipment. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not assume your co-workers are always vigilant. Watch your step when working near industrial vehicles.
- Make sure scaffolding equipment is stable and secure with a fully planked walking surface before working on it.
Many construction accidents occur due to companies or managers cutting corners to keep costs down or get the job done faster. Other mishaps may occur when workers are negligent or not properly trained in safety procedures. If you are aware of the risks and make every effort to be professional on the job, you stand a better chance of keeping yourself and others safe.