It’s a fact you know all too well, in 2017 about one in five worker deaths were in construction, making your job the most dangerous in the United States. Trips, falling objects, dangerous machinery -- these are just some of the hazards you might face on a daily basis. Here are three of the most common construction injuries, and how the latest tech is helping to prevent you from dangerous accidents in the future.
Nearly 40 percent of all deaths in construction in 2017 were the result of falls, according to the Department of Labor. In fact, falls are the most common injury in the construction sector. You know that danger lurks with each step; you could trip over equipment, for example, or fall from a shaky surface at a great height.
The problem is, many construction workers (hopefully not you) fail to wear the correct fall protection when at work, or employers don't provide you with adequate security which can prevent dangerous or deadly incidents.
As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has advised construction managers to provide you with proper fall protection training, which will help save lives. In fact, some companies are implementing AR/VR in their training programs during orientation to hammer home the experience of falling from heights (without the devastating consequences).
Hit By Objects
Objects are flying around you and your job site every day. We’re sure you’ve seen building tools and/or other equipment falling from high surfaces. In 2017, around 8 percent of construction-related fatalities were the result of workers being struck by objects. In many cases, construction workers suffered a blow to the head, which had deadly consequences.
"A flying object hazard exists when something has been thrown, hurled, or propelled across space," says EHS Daily Advisor. "It can include instances when a piece of material separates from a tool, machine, or other equipment, striking a worker."
How can construction managers prevent further incidents? They should encourage you to wear the correct equipment at work on a construction site, including a hard hat and steel-toe boots. In addition, proper communication, alerts, notifications and permit zoning help companies keep you out of harm’s way. Companies who implement technology, like safety and operations platforms, create more collaboration and remove risks associated with dangerous zones, and inadequate PPEs.
Electrocutions are far more common in construction than you might think. In fact, electrocutions made up around 7 percent of all construction-related deaths in the year 2017. Power lines, machines, electrical wiring -- all of these can increase the likelihood of electrocution on a construction site.
Research also shows that around 2,400 construction workers died from electrocution at job sites from 1992 to 2010 -- that's around half of all work-related electrocution deaths in the U.S. during this period. How can these be prevented? Proper safety walks, inspections, equipment maintenance and more. Safety is as much operational as it is a culture of seeing something and saying something. Accidents by nature are not planned, but good planning can help prevent accidents.
How Can Technology Prevent Construction Injuries?
The latest technology can prevent you from having an injury or accident at work:
Collaborative productivity and performance platforms improve operational efficiency and safety on a construction site. Construction managers use this software to streamline training, inspections, incident and injury management, and much more from one central location. These programs facilitate fall protection and electrical safety training and orientations too.
Wearable sensors can detect dangers on a construction site. This can prevent accidents and save lives. You can place one of these tiny smart sensors in your boots or jacket pocket and it will collect important data about your environment. Some sensors can even provide you with alerts if they think you are about to slip or fall.
Augmented reality and virtual reality can simulate real-world environments in a training situation and provide you with valuable information about how to avoid danger on a construction site.
Falls, being struck by objects, and electrocutions -- these injuries can cost you your life. But the latest tech is making it easier for operational and safety managers to improve training procedures and monitor employees in order to prevent further accidents in the workplace.