Knowing the Most Common Causes of Jobsite Accidents Helps Prevent Them

Construction workers should be 'defensive workers,' keeping an eye out for dangerous situations and taking steps to minimize the risks

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One in every five workplace fatalities is a construction worker, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website. For the construction industry, safety should be an important and ongoing conversation for every business and on every jobsite.

When I started driving as a teenager, my parents always told me to be a defensive driver. Just because I followed the rules and drove safely didn't mean the other people sharing the road with me were doing the same thing. I think that concept can be applied to the construction industry. Construction workers should be defensive workers. Not only focusing on keeping the work they are doing safe, but also paying close attention to the work going on around them. Even the most experience worker can have a lapse now and then that could endanger themselves or others on or near the construction site.

One of the most popular articles on FCP is Top Ten Construction Safety Tips by safety expert John Meola. If you haven't read the article consider taking a little extra time to refresh yourself and your employees or coworkers on safety tips. But if you don't have the time to sit and read the article in its entirety, here's a summary of what it has to say:

Top 10 Causes of Jobsite Accidents

  1. Getting on and off equipment
  2. Loading/unloading equipment
  3. People crowding the work area
  4. Machine swing radius
  5. Operation on slopes
  6. Overhead/buried obstructions
  7. Backing
  8. Machine upset
  9. Instability or loss of load
  10. Lock-out/tag-out

Preventing Accidents

All construction companies should have a safety program in place. And according to Meola, it should be "relevant, timely, frequently referenced and backed up by top management." And safety should be reviewed for every job.

When it comes to making equipment safe, that can often be done in the shop before the equipment is taken out to the jobsite. But, as with everything else, safety when using equipment continues on the jobsite. Both equipment operators and those working around the equipment should be responsible for preventing accidents involving equipment.

For details on preventing the top 10 causes of accidents above, read Meola's full article. And feel free to share your safety tips and experiences in the comments box.