Every construction site in Minnesota has several potential hazards. Some, like falls from heights, are things that construction workers, contractors and subcontractors know all about. Other job site risks might be more subtle but still put workers in danger of a potentially deadly injury.
Here are four examples of construction site safety hazards that you (and your employer) might be overlooking.
Spills and tripping hazards
While it’s common sense that puddles and debris can lead to slip-and-fall accidents, not every employer takes the need to keep the ground and floors seriously. As a result, about 25 percent of workplace accidents are the result of a worker slipping or tripping.
It might seem like an uncomfortable work environment is more annoying than dangerous. But things like overwork and extreme weather can be potentially dangerous. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion and hypothermia are very serious conditions and can be fatal. And an exhausted or burned-out worker is more likely to make a mistake that hurts themselves or another member of the crew.
Lack of training
A single training course right after hiring a worker is not enough to avoid dangerous mistakes. A survey of workers who hurt their hands on the job found that 70 percent of the workers were not wearing safety gloves at the time. Almost all the rest did have gloves on, but the gloves they wore were not sufficient for the task.
These types of human errors are often due to the sense that safety precautions are not necessary. Regular refresher trainings can change this attitude and remind workers of proper procedures.
Some construction workers experience bullying, harassment and/or violence from coworkers. Stress, anxiety and depression from bullying can reduce a worker’s performance and concentration.