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Injuries in the Construction Sector

The construction sector is one of the most demanded sectors across the world due to its robust activities and amazing role in societal and economic development. Unfortunately, this profession carries a significant burden of workplace injuries. So, this guide is created to talk about the prevalence of the most common types of injuries and their statistics.

Total Injury Rates

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers in the private sector reported 2.8 million nonfatal illnesses and injuries in 2022, up 7.5% from 2021.
  • Both an increase in sickness and injuries was the cause of this rise. Injuries that are not fatal rose by 4.5% in 2022, reaching 2.3 million cases. The number of nonfatal illnesses rose by 26.1% in 2022 to 460.7 thousand.
  • A 35.4 percent increase in respiratory infections was the main cause of the significant increase in illnesses. The number of respiratory ailments reached a peak of 428.7 thousand in 2020, fell to 260.6 thousand in 2021, & is again back at 365.0 thousand in 2022.
  • The number of injuries reported in the private sector in 2022 remained constant from 2021, at 2.3 instances for 100 full-time equivalent workers. On the other hand, in 2022, the rate of illness rose by 19.9%. Compared to 37.7 cases in 2021, the illness rate in 2022 was 45.3 cases per ten thousand full-time equivalent workers.

Source: National Safety Council Injury Facts

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total fatal injuries accounted for 5,190 in all sectors in the year 2021

6 Most Common Types of Injuries

Understanding the most common types of injuries in the workplace is essential in every business, especially if you are working in the construction sector. Once you comprehend these injuries, it will help you in formulating targeted preventive strategies to reduce workplace injury rates. The OSHA, which was the federal government, aims to build a secure and healthy place of work for everyone to identify different types of injuries to mitigate their hazardous impact. It doesn’t matter in which profession you are involved, whether you are an athlete or a construction worker, unexpected injuries can happen.

Here, you will read about the most common types of injuries, such as falls, strains, fractures, etc. 

Strains and Sprains

Strains and sprains are the most common musculoskeletal injuries that occur in the construction sector. These injuries may often result from overexertion, improper lifting techniques, or repetitive motions. Construction workers are frequently required to engage in physically demanding tasks, such as lifting heavy materials or operating machinery, putting them at an increased risk of strain and sprains. That is the reason, it is crucial to teach them ergonomic practices, provide proper training on lifting techniques, and allow them to take regular breaks to mitigate these injuries.

Fractures

Fractures are a major problem in construction work because of the high-risk nature of construction work, operating heavy machinery, or exposure to potentially hazardous conditions. Sometimes fractures can result from accidents such as falling from high places, structural failure, and more. The OSHA emphasizes preventing accidents that lead to severe fractures and they strictly govern their guidelines for adhering to safety protocols to significantly reduce the occurrence of these severe injuries. 

Falls

Falls are one of the most common and dangerous forms of injuries suffered by construction workers. However, they are a great contributor to the injury statistics of the industry whether from heights, scaffolding, or ladders. As per the OSHA, falls are the leading cause of construction-related fatalities. In order to mitigate the workplace hazards and injuries that occur due to fall, it is highly imperative to get safety training on how to avoid the accidental falls. Moreover, there must be stringent policies on safety and the usage of fall protective systems, and their implementation.

Cuts and Abrasions

As opposed to an office environment, construction sites are associated with many cutting and abrasion incidences due to the use of different tools and materials. Workers can get injured by dangerous items such as shards and power tools; or even abrasive surfaces. It goes without saying that they should use quality PPE to avoid such traumas as gloves or safety goggles. It is one of the greatest responsibilities of an employer to regular tool inspection and tool safety training, and have a clean workplace which greatly reduces the chance of cuts and abrasions.

Electrical Injuries

Electrical hazards in the form of shock and electrocution abound at the construction site. Employees can touch live wires, defective apparatus, and an ungrounded electric network that will lead to severe accidents. T Compliance with electrical safety regulations, correct training, and appropriate use of lockouts/tags should be used when you are trying to avoid electric shock. Workers should wear adequate PPE while employers need to make sure that electrical systems get checked and maintained on a regular basis.

Respiratory Issues

Due to work in confined places, construction workers may exposed to various airborne contaminants that lead to respiratory problems. Dust, fumes, and other harmful substances present in the air such as asbestos pose a significant health risk. So, OSHA mandates the use of respiratory protection in situations where exposure to such hazards is unavoidable. They highly suggest employers consider the proper engineering controls and good ventilation to improve worker health and mitigate respiratory problems.

Heat-related Illnesses

Extreme weather can cause heat-related ailments including exhaustion from heat or heat stroke in construction workers who work outside. The best ways to avoid heat-related diseases are to drink enough of water, take regular pauses, and plan hard activities for later in the day. Additionally, employers need to provide employees with shaded spaces and training on how to spot heat-related stress signals.

To Wrap Up the Things

At last, it has been concluded that understanding or analyzing the illnesses and injuries in the construction sector, surely help in reducing the injuries in the workplace statistics. It is highly important to provide proper safety training to employees and consider proactive measures to build the safest work environment.