The 4 Greatest Health and Safety Hazards in the Construction Industry

Hazards in the construction industry come in all shapes and sizes, and anyone who steps foot on to a worksite can be a victim. While only six percent of the American workforce falls under the construction category, 20 percent of all private sector employee deaths were in construction, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from 2016.

While construction industry deaths and injuries continue to rise, it’s important to look at the major hazards that employees face. Having the right education and training combined with transparent statistics can combine to reduce injuries in the long term. For insurance agents who work within construction or architecture, liability coverage is more important than ever as they work with independent contractors and other projects.

Here are some of the major health and safety issues facing the industry:

1. Falls

Falling has always been apparent on worksites. No matter the project, no matter the size and scope, falling can always be responsible for injuries and even deaths. Often these falls are due to unstable working surfaces or failure to use fall protection equipment (i.e. belts and hooks). Also, unstable scaffolding and ladders are always ingredients that make for possible falls.

To reduce this risk, worksites need to stress safety when it comes to heights of any kind. Ladders and scaffolds should meet safety standards and additional fall-prevention equipment should be installed, such as safety nets, fall arrest systems, and guardrails.

2. Vehicle Hazards

Nearly 10 percent of all construction site deaths and injuries are related to workers being struck by objects. These are specifically related to things like moving cars, a major part of this stat. Construction sites should always encourage a safe driving area for all employees and make sure that safety rules include clear vehicle routes. Employees should also know how to avoid positioning themselves between moving objects and those that are stationary, and proper training on forklifts and cranes should always be taught from day one.

3. Hazardous Materials

Construction sites are usually filled with hazardous materials. From toxic airborne materials to chemical spills to objects that can get in the way, worksites are no stranger to hazards. Employees on a project should be provided with material safety data sheets for any hazardous chemical being used at a construction site and should be given proper respiratory protection

4. Electrical Issues

Electrical problems on worksites are always apparent, especially on new buildings that require a while new wiring set up. Nearly eight percent of all construction hazards can be attributed to electrical issues, pointing out that before any work is started, construction leaders should locate and identify utilities. If employees are using equipment, they should locate overhead power lines and are familiar with the safe distance needed to operate

Protecting employees from top to bottom should be the main priority for all construction industry jobs. Knowing the potential risks and their harmful effects, up to and including death, will help to keep everyone aware and all risks transparent. These are just some of the risks that employees face on a daily basis with many more that play their own role.

About Genesee General

At Genesee, we strive to provide quality insurance solutions for the Commercial E & S sector. Our longstanding expertise has allowed us to successfully serve your clients for over three decades. Our specialized products include coverages for Transportation, Garage, P & C, Professional, Brokerage Property, Specialty Programs and many more. For more information about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 282-8755.