Adorned in a hard hat, work boots, gloves, an insulated coat and safety glasses, you and your crew get to dig another trench along a city street block. This marks another week of fixing electrical lines damaged in late summer by another crew. The result of the other construction crew’s mishap: knocking the power out for nearly a half-million electricity customers in the metro.
There always have been job-related hazards ranging from falls and burns to fractures and electrocution. Also, the elements promise to be among them again. With summer and its hot days long gone, you and your crew face colder weather with chilly temperatures and snow. Still, the weather is just one more hazard you face while working outside.
From falls and burns to the elements
The city is counting on you and your crew to resolve this problem, and you have been steadily making progress. But it is critical to focus on safety, and not perform a hasty job. You are aware of the hazards of your job and have a solidly trained crew that understands the importance of safety.
Among the risks that outdoor crews – many involving construction – include:
- Falls from scaffolding and ladders leading to many injuries including traumatic brain injury and fractures. Falls accounted for nearly 34% of all construction deaths in 2018. A total of 338 people died in fall-related mishaps that year.
- Being struck by an object can lead to serious injuries and death when regularly working with heavy machinery.
- Electrocutions remain a hazard for any construction crew working with electrical lines.
- Caught-in/between situations often occur when workers become trapped in trenches.
- Burns from fires and explosions can lead to painful skin grafts.
- The weather remains an obstacle, especially when it is extremely cold or hot. Frostbite is a potential injury for the former, and heat stroke in the latter.
- Hearing loss may occur due to consistent exposure to loud noises. Wear hearing protection.
Going into a job like this, you understood that the work must be done safely and proficiently. By focusing on safety awareness and the training your crew, you are proving that you understand work-related risks and ways to keep them at a distance.