Construction accidents happen every day around the world, and honestly a lot go unreported. Of course we hear about the big accidents: fatal falls, spills, machine malfunctions and so on. These accidents are devastating. However, nearly 2.3 million non-fatal construction accidents were reported in 2020 alone. The most common construction accidents don’t always result in death, but can still cause significant injuries that alter lives and pause, or even end careers.
Some construction injuries happen in an instant, others occur over time. Today we’re discussing the most common construction accidents and products to prevent them.
Construction Accidents Guide
Construction Eye & Ear Injuries
Did you know that construction workers are one of the most at-risk workers for hearing and vision loss? Hearing and vision injuries are actually one of the most common injuries across all industries. This result is probably the combination of how susceptible these body parts are to injury, along with how quickly and easily these injuries can occur.
Let’s dive a little deeper into these injuries and how they occur.
2,120 eye-related injuries and illnesses were reported by trade professionals in 2020.
Eye injuries tend to be immediate and the result of objects or particles striking or even impaling the eye. Construction workers are also exposed to chemicals and harsh ultraviolet rays that can damage the eyes immediately or over time.
Construction ear injuries can absolutely occur due to blunt force trauma or exposure to certain elements. However, most ear injuries are cumulative and result in progressive hearing loss over time. In fact, over half of construction workers experience hearing loss by retirement.
Most hearing loss is the result of routine exposure to loud noises for extended periods of time, and close proximity to loud noises, especially sudden, high level blasts of sounds.
Groggles – Construction Eye & Ear Protection
Groggles are a new 2-in-1 construction eye and ear protection. This product combines the standard construction safety glasses and noise-reduction earmuffs that are normally sold separately.
Not only are Groggles a convenient construction safety product, but they sit comfortably and firmly on your head. BONUS: Groggles can be worn over your preferred Bluetooth earbuds for your own DIY wireless safety headphones that don’t break the bank.
Learn more about Groggles in our TIA Groggle Review.
Buy Groggles for $35 on Amazon. Available in yellow or orange.
Bone & Joint Damage from Construction
Construction is obviously physically demanding and even the most in-shape workers experience natural wear-and-tear on their muscles, joints, bones and nerves. In fact, sprains and strains account for most injuries to construction workers. These musculoskeletal injuries can be financially devastating, between medical bills and loss of income during treatment and recovery.
In other words, it is extremely important for construction workers to protect their bodies. You can train all you want, but you are going to need equipment that supports the health of your bones and joints.
Hilti EXO-S Shoulder Exoskeleton – Upper Body Support
Save yourself and your employees from neck, back, and shoulder injuries. This Hilti EXO-S Shoulder Exoskeleton provides upper body support to hinder the natural wear-and-tear of jobsite demands. Not only does the exoskeleton protect the upper body, but it reduces fatigue which results in more productivity, more energy, and less aches at the end of the work day and careers.
Learn more about the Hilti Exoskeleton in our TIA Hilti EXO-S Review.
The Hilti EXO-S Shoulder Exoskeleton is available on the Hilti site.
DeWALT Knee Pads – Knee Protection
Construction workers have a higher risk of knee injuries compared to other professions. These injuries range anywhere from knee pain to debilitating knee replacement surgery. Recently released, DeWALT Knee Pads provide barrier protection along with comfortable gel padding.
You can read more about DeWALT Knee Pads in this TIA DeWALT Review.
Electrocution is one of OSHA’s Big Four Construction Hazards and over 7% of construction deaths were electrocution-related in 2021. Obviously, electricians are most at-risk. However, construction sites also contain electrical hazards, such as: faulty wiring, exposed live wires, and misuse of electrical equipment.
Electrocution injuries can result in burns, nerve damage, cardiac arrest, and death.
Because the risks associated with electrical work are so extreme it’s extra important to make sure you use tools intended for electrical work whether you are a trade professional or a homeowner. Klein Tools is a great brand for electrical tools and supplies because they are designed for professional electricians.
Klein Tools Voltage Test Kit
Knowing the status of a wire is absolutely crucial for preventing electrical accidents and injuries. This Klein Tools Electrical Voltage Test Kit is great for testing voltage in most residential settings. An electrician may need more than this, but this kit is perfect for other trade professionals who need to know the status of a wire. It’s also affordable enough for a homeowner doing electrical work.
Get the Klein Tools Electrical Voltage Test Kit for $79.98 with Same-Day Shipping from Amazon Prime.
Klein Tools Electricians Tool Kit
A voltage test kit is great for getting the status of a wire, but you’ll need tools designed for electrical work if you want to actually work with electrical equipment. This Klein Tools 28-piece Electricians Hand Tools Kit includes rubber-molded hand tools to prevent and minimize electrical shock when working on electrical equipment.
Get the Klein Tools 28-piece Electricians Hand Tools Kit for $414.99 on Amazon.
Klein Tools also offers an upgraded 41-piece Electricians Tool Kit for $714.99 on Amazon. Both kits come with a backpack to hold all of your tools.
Electricians Gloves can prevent and minimize electrical shock in the event of unsafe contact with a live wire.
Different electrical jobs will require different gloves. You can browse “electricians gloves” on Amazon to find the gloves best suited to your project.
Last but not least, you need to protect your feet from electricity. If you are an electrician or work on jobsite with ungrounded wires you should invest in a work boot that is waterproof, does not have a steel toe, is not made with any conductive materials, and meets the ASTM standard for electrical hazards protection.
Georgia Boot has a Carbo-Tec FLX Waterproof Pull-on Work Boot available on Amazon. It meets all of the above criteria for electrical work safety. It’s also available in women’s sizes!
For more info, read our TIA review of the Georgia Boot Carbo-Tec FLX Waterproof Pull-on Work Boot.
Amazon also has a wide variety of electricians’ work boots available.
Slips & Falls
Falls continue to be the leading cause of death and injury for construction workers and even accounted for 35% of construction deaths in 2021. The heights, the weather, and jobsite conditions are just a few factors that put trade professionals at risk of devastating falls. However, there are a few products out there that can help prevent these deaths and injuries.
Carhartt Composite Toe Work Boot
These Carhartt Work Boots have features like abrasion-resistant rubber outsoles, gripping lugs and ladder locks to ensure your feet stay secure wherever you place them. There is also an electrical-safe composite toe. On top of that security, Carhartt Work Boots have reliable quality construction, and these boots include multiple comfort features and technology.
These boots are pretty budget-friendly and range in price from $120 – $140.
Non-slip boots can only get you so far. Sometimes you do fall. A safety harness can prevent a fall from being the last move you make.
I say any harness is better than no harness, but it’s best to have a harness meant for your specific project. Fortunately, you can search for your specific safety harness on Amazon.
Final Notes on Jobsite Safety
Each skilled trade has its own unique hazards. These products are great and can definitely promote your safety, but they can only go so far. Know the procedures, know the tools, and know the exact hazards for your skilled trade and prepare for them. These are the best steps to ensure you come home every day and with the same amount of body parts that you left with.