Construction sites are notorious for being hazardous work environments. Workers do their jobs around dangerous machinery, surfaces and substances.
Falls at construction sites are among the primary causes of death in workplace accidents for construction workers.
Many construction sites have work on an elevated surface, such as a roof or scaffold. The height of these work surfaces makes falls from such an area hazardous for workers. Employers should follow all recommended safety precautions, including guardrails and harnesses to protect employees from falls. New York has a scaffold law that requires employers to take precautions for anyone working on a scaffold.
Excavated areas and other holes
Construction jobs can also have areas where the builder has excavated the ground for building underground foundations and adding piping or electrical wiring. Job sites may also contain uncovered maintenance holes that workers need to access the plumbing. Workers are at risk of falling into these areas. Severe injuries can result as the fall distance is usually significant. Employers should mark areas below ground level and block them off with physical barriers when possible.
Unguarded machinery can represent a significant hazard to workers. Construction equipment consists of heavy machinery and items that extract large amounts of force. These characteristics can lead to a severe injury if an employee falls into running equipment. Employers should make sure machinery has appropriate guards installed to avoid accidents.
Due to the severe nature of fall injuries, employers must make sure employees have proper safety training.