Construction is a job that has existed for about as long as society has. It goes all the way back to building crude shelters and continues today wherever humans want to tear a building down or put up a new one to replace it. There will likely always need to be workers to do physical construction tasks, engineers and architects to design buildings, and machines to clear away rubble and debris.
While construction can be a lucrative job and steady work, it can also be dangerous or even deadly. Many accidents take place on construction sites around the world every day. Let’s look at some of the particular construction site dangers you’ll want to avoid if you decide that this profession is for you.
There’s an entity called The Center for Construction Research and Training, or the CPWR. They report that the construction industry employed more than 10 million Americans back in 2016.
Many workers consider it to be a stable profession to get into, and, in many cases, you can do so without a college degree. The construction industry also still has a strong union presence, which means better healthcare and excellent base wages as compared to many other sectors.
Despite all that, there are still the dangers we mentioned a moment ago. Falling from great heights is probably the most perilous construction possibility. Many construction workers have to conduct their business while up on the high steel.
You might be many hundreds of feet in the air, working with tools, or walking on narrow beams. Because of this, you should never get into this industry if you have a fear of heights or you get dizzy easily.
Also, you should never come to work intoxicated. That includes both drugs and alcohol use. You should watch out for legal prescription drugs that can make you dizzy, like certain high blood pressure medications.
You should never daydream while you’re up high, doing construction work. In some jobs, a flight of fancy is fine for a few seconds, but never in construction.
You should also watch out for falling objects while you’re doing construction work. You might be walking around a construction site, and a shout from above might be all the warning you get before something plummets to earth. You might be the one that dislodges or drops a tool as well, in which case, you’d better be ready to yell out and warn the individuals working below you.
If a tool or some other object hits you, it can break a limb, or you can suffer a concussion or some other traumatic head injury. Some individuals even die from falling objects, or they can lapse into a coma.
Make sure to avoid dropping anything if at all possible, and wear a helmet while on the job at all times. It can save your life, and there are OSHA regulations that say you need to do it as well.
Vehicles Hitting or Running Over You
If you’re working construction, you might have to operate a vehicle while on the job, and some of them are large and heavy, such as dump trucks and cherry pickers. You have to be careful not to hit anyone, and you also need to watch out when you’re around such a vehicle, and someone else is operating it.
If you’re not watching, that vehicle can always lurch forward and hit you or even run you over. It can also crush you between its body and another immovable object, like a wall or building.
Be aware of any vehicles around you, and be extra careful when you use one. Never use a construction vehicle unless someone has trained you in how to do so.
Tool-related injuries happen in the construction industry as well. You often have to use saws, hammers, and so forth. Many of them are battery or electric-operated, and they can easily take off a limb or a few fingers if you’re not paying attention for a moment.
Just as with vehicles, you should not use tools unless someone has trained you in what to do with them. If you’re around someone else who is using them, don’t distract them at a critical moment, or you can cause an accident.
You have to watch out for electrocution hazards while on a construction site. Many individuals every year suffer electrocution-related injuries, some of which can prove fatal.
You need to check for substandard tools or equipment. If anything doesn’t look right, inspect it thoroughly before use. If you ever see exposed wires or live wires that no one has grounded, you know that’s a situation you need to fix before you proceed any further with the project.
What Happens if You Injure Yourself While Working Construction?
If you hurt yourself while doing construction work, you can usually collect disability payments. If you can recover from the injury, then you should be able to resume work at some point.
If you have sustained a permanent injury, then you can often collect ongoing disability payments that should help you through the remainder of your life. If there were blatantly unsafe conditions, you might even be able to bring a lawsuit against your company or the individual who caused your accident.
Nobody likes pursuing lawsuits, but if you can’t collect the money you need to pay for medical bills, physical therapy sessions, groceries, rent, mortgage payments, etc., then that’s precisely what you might have to do. The company for which you work should provide you with the safe equipment and training you need, and if they didn’t do that, the law should hold them liable.
As long as you did not act recklessly and cause your own ailment, a jury will often find in your favor. Hopefully, even if you cannot continue in the construction industry, your injury will not be such that it hampers your ability to enjoy the remainder of your life.