Construction work is inherently risky because of the various hazards present on job sites. Construction workers need to be aware of these risks to remain safe.
Employers are responsible for ensuring their job sites are as safe as is reasonably possible. The onus is on employers to minimize these hazards through strict safety protocols and training.
Common hazards in construction
One of the primary risks in construction is falls from heights. Workers often perform tasks on scaffolding, ladders or roofs, where a lack of proper fall protection can lead to severe accidents.
Another significant hazard is being struck by objects. This can include tools, machinery or construction materials that fall or are inadvertently swung into a worker.
Electrocution is also a common risk for construction workers. This is often due to exposure to live wires, damaged cords on tools or misuse of equipment.
Employer responsibility for safety
It is crucial to remember that the onus for mitigating these risks lies with the employer. Employers are responsible for providing proper safety equipment, such as harnesses for fall protection and hard hats to protect from falling objects.
They must also ensure that all electrical systems are correctly installed and maintained and that workers are trained in electrical safety. Regular safety training sessions are essential to inform all workers about best practices and new safety developments.
Impact of hazards on workers
The impact of these hazards can range from minor injuries to severe, life-altering conditions or fatalities. Injuries such as fractures, head injuries or electrical burns affect the physical health of workers and can also lead to significant emotional and financial stress.
Workers who are injured often need intensive medical care, which is a costly undertaking. Workers’ compensation usually covers these on-the-job injuries, so injured workers should take steps to better ensure that they receive their due compensation. This potentially includes other benefits besides medical care. It’s sometimes necessary to fight for those benefits, so working with someone who can assist is generally wise.