7 Construction Site Hazards: How to Prevent Them from Happening

Expert Tips
Josh Plotnek January 20, 2022 11 min read

Construction is one of the world’s most dangerous industries. Teams often work in harsh conditions, carry large objects and operate heavy machinery. Here’s a look at the most common construction site hazards, tips on how to prevent them, and the software solution you can use to keep your employees safe.

workers dealing with construction site hazards

Quick Guide

    Whether you’re a construction site manager or business owner, you already know that the industry you and your employees work in can be full of dangers at every turn.

    But you can’t ignore the alarming numbers. For a start, fatal construction accidents are double compared to the average in other industries. And about 2.2 million construction working days are lost every year because of this.

    Once you pinpoint the main construction site hazards that could put your employees at risk, you’ll be well on your way to finding ways to protect them. But there’s one more thing that can help put these preventative measures into practice – an all-in-one software solution.

    Connecteam: The Ultimate Tool To Prevent Construction Site Hazards

    Connecteam is an award-winning construction management app designed for the mobile workforce (including deskless teams and remote workers).

    More than 20,000 companies benefit from Connecteam’s all-in-one app to easily train their employees, maintain instant communication across the board, track employees’ work hours, schedule shifts and keep workers accountable and compliant, no matter where they are.

    If your construction workers need any guidance on how to perform their job safely and address construction site hazards, they can simply refer to this digital solution instead of depending on messy, time-consuming, paper-based resources.

    What’s even better is that Connecteam is completely free to use for your first 50 users, and will help you scale your business.

    Here are just some of the incredible features that Connecteam offers to help make your construction workers safer:

    Maintain accountability, safety and compliance at all times with Connecteam’s fully customizable forms and checklists. Here are some key examples of ways you can maximize construction worker safety through documentation:

    Start of Shift Checklists

    End of Job Reports

    Injury/Accident Reports

    Risk Assessment Forms

    Daily Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Reports

    Vehicle Accident Reports

    Scaffolding Inspection Checklists

    Construction PPE Order Requests

    Job Site Inspection Reports

    Equipment Inspection Checklists

    Stay in close contact with your construction workers regardless of location with Connecteam’s employee communication app. Internal communication features include:

    • Send images, documents and in-chat shortcuts to all essential forms.
    • Send important safety updates via the social feed and ensure all employees have seen/read it with push notifications.
    • Easily reach one employee or the entire team for any safety-related matter by searching them in the employee directory.

    Easily train your construction workers on how to perform their job with maximum skill and safety from the comfort of their mobile phone with Connecteam’s employee training capabilities. Build comprehensive knowledge bases including all important training resources such as:

    • Health and safety guidelines
    • Manuals on how to handle heavy objects and harmful materials
    • Equipment guides
    • And much more

    Every aspect of your employees’ job is unmissable with Connecteam’s employee scheduling app. Features to ensure your construction workers know exactly when and where they are working include:

    • Build customizable and easy-to-read shifts.
    • Include all of the crucial information they need to do their jobs safely and accurately. Book necessary equipment and vehicles for a specific site.
    • Receive relevant job details, start-of-shift checklists, safety hazard forms or end-of-shift reports (as mentioned above).

    Easily keep track of your employees whereabouts, at all times, with Connecteam’s time clock app. Ensure that workers clock in and out at the right location, using the app’s geofence and breadcrumbs capabilities. This is extremely beneficial, both from a safety and payroll perspective.

    And this is only scratching the surface of how Connecteam’s construction management app can benefit you, your business and your employees.

    Prevent All Construction Workplace Hazards With Connecteam

    Let’s take a look at some of the most common construction workplace hazards and which of Connecteam’s specific features you can use to prevent them from happening.

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    7 Construction Site Hazards & Their Solutions

    Slips, Trips and Falls

    In practically all industries, and especially construction – the most common kinds of accidents are slips, trips and falls. In fact, several thousand workers are injured each year because of trips and slips at construction sites. 

    Uneven surfaces, unstable grounds, and building sites at varying levels of completion are some of the main construction site hazards that cause these kinds of accidents. 

    While carelessness, lack of productivity, and distractions also play a huge factor in construction workers slipping and tripping, remaining vigilant and aware of one’s surroundings are key when working on a construction site.

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam: 

    • You, the construction business manager, can build and share simple digital libraries that your workers can easily access directly from their phones
    • Easily upload all essential reading materials (such as scaffolding inspection checklists), and send them to relevant recipients to train them on safety protocol when it comes to working on uneven surfaces. 
    • Use Connecteam’s forms feature to share surfaces that might be slippery, steep, uneven, and types of footwear most suited for these surfaces.

    Working At Height

    In 2019, a staggering one in five fatal work-related accidents occured in construction. And about a quarter of those incidents came from construction site hazards attributed to working at height. Some of the root causes behind these alarming numbers include:

    • Unstable surfaces
    • Restricted mobility in high places
    • High chances of human error (dropping tools, for example)
    • Misuse of safety equipment

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam: 

    • Create and assign inspection forms to perform more detailed, thorough safety checks, ensuring all relevant safety equipment such as ladders, fall protection systems, guardrails is up to standard.
    • Workers can fill in checklists and read and sign safety documentation with a couple of clicks (including safety tips and company policies)
    • Managers can easily attach these documents to shift notes – preparing employees before they even arrive on site.
    • Open a safety-specific employee team chat and add shortcuts to the relevant knowledge base. Use the dashboard to see who has read your messages. Ensure that everyone in the company is aligned by sending automated push notifications to those who didn’t read.

    Moving & Falling Objects

    Falling and moving objects are notoriously overlooked for how common they are. In fact, 96% of nonfatal struck-by injuries in construction are caused by falling/moving objects. Construction sites are rife with objects that are constantly moving and could potentially fall at (forgive us) the drop of a hat.

    number/rate of nonfatal injuries from falling/moving object construction site hazards by job

    Significant construction site hazards come from cranes, forklifts, supply vehicles (especially when driving in the winter), heavy equipment, and materials that are being transported. Also, these objects are often moving in harsh conditions and uneven surfaces. Not to mention the fact that collapse could occur at any given time.

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam: 

    • Easily conduct digital safety meetings that are streamlined and to the point via the app’s team chat feature. This makes it easy to mention heavy and sharp objects that could swing, roll or fall, keeping workers on the lookout and more likely to stay safe and protected
    • Share short, to-the-point updates via the social feed – including videos to remind workers how to protect themselves from moving/falling objects. You can save needless back and forth as employees instantly receive push notifications, letting them know that they have an important update to read.
    • Employees can fill in checklists, to confirm that they are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as high visibility jackets, ensuring that they are visible at all times.
    • Fill in “exit and inspection” forms and risk assessments of buildings at risk of collapse.

    The #1 Construction Safety Management App 

    Manual Handling

    Construction workers are at a 64% rate of exposure to manual handling, one of the highest rates by industry. While many of these workers are physically capable and qualified to lift heavy objects, the chances of manual handling-induced injuries is still high. 

    This hazard puts workers at a high risk of the following health issues: 

    Construction teams need to be properly taught how to lift heavy objects. A lack of regular training on the matter can lead to complacency, disengagement, laziness, and bad habits, which can result in the aforementioned injuries (both short and long-term) and even fatalities.

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam: 

    • Conduct full risk assessments. With Connecteam, you can create your own or simply choose the relevant form template.
    • If employees are missing any appropriate, well-maintained lifting equipment to reduce injuries and construction site hazards, they can fill in PPE request forms with a couple of clicks.
    • Introduce protocols/workflows that reduce the time spent lifting/carrying heavy objects.
    • Provide safety training resources so that employees can stay clued up on what constitutes safe manual handling. 
    • Use the team chat feature to initiate regular safety talks that focus on proper lifting techniques and deciding how many workers and what machinery is required for specific jobs. 
    • These details can also be provided in the employee’s shift schedule, giving each construction worker clear, detailed instructions to perform their manual handling safely.

    Excessive Noise

    Noise pollution is part and parcel of working on a construction site. But as construction site hazards go, many in the field underestimate its potential to cause serious damage. 

    For a start – using loud machinery such as drills and compressors for long periods of time can cause long-term hearing problems and can even lead to deafness. Not to mention how distracting noise can be, leading to other accidents in the process.

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam: 

    • Managers can fill in noise risk assessment forms before workers start each work day, for their benefit and the public.
    • Perform maintenance checks of PPE and fill in quality control forms.
    • Employees can easily communicate with upper management via the team chat to inform them whether noise is interfering with their job or they need anything to be adequately prepared for these potential construction workplace hazards.

    Electrical Hazards

    While electricity can be dangerous in all industries, it is one of the most common construction workplace hazards. The harsh, outdoor conditions that construction workers often work in can lead to electrical shocks. 

    According to OSHA, the following construction site hazards are the most common causes of electrical injuries:

    • Direct contact with power lines
    • Ungrounded power supply to electrical equipment
    • Equipment used inadequately
    • Misused flexible cords and extensions
    • Lack of ground protection
    worker facing construction site hazards
    Photo by SAMS Solutions on Unsplash

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam:

    • At the very least, construction teams should have annual safety meetings to prevent electrical construction site hazards. With Connecteam, you can even open a chat channel specifically dedicated to electricity safety, where managers can share important updates, workplace safety guidelines and employees can ask relevant questions.
    • Managers can supply training guides on how to detect damaged/exposed wires and understand the severity of coming into contact with electrical current. Employees can easily read and sign, hassle-free.
    • Perform safety procedures and easily take and send photos to confirm that safety warnings and barrier systems are in place.

    Harmful Airborne Materials

    When it comes to construction, using materials that are potentially very dangerous comes with the territory. If workers on site use damaged PPE or fail to use it properly, then they can expose themselves to harmful materials such as asbestos, as well as dust particles from brick, cement, plaster, and stone. 

    Construction workers are also at risk from frequent handling of toxic substances such as paint, solvents, adhesives and a variety of other chemicals. This can lead to various eyesight and mouth issues, as well as respiratory conditions such as asthma, asbestosis, silicosis.

    How to minimize these risks with Connecteam:

    • Employees can complete checklists to inspect the quality of their PPE.
    • Minimize exposure of these materials by sharing harmful material handling guidelines and emergency protocols in the event of spillage or accidents.
    • Managers can complete risk assessment forms specifically for the storage and handling of the aforementioned materials.

    The Bottom Line On Construction Site Hazards

    All of these construction site hazards can be reduced significantly with the tips mentioned above. 

    And of course, pre-construction meetings are a great opportunity to address all potential construction workplace hazards before your workers even step foot on site.

    But that’s not all that can make the difference. 

    Building a quality team ethic and empowering each construction worker to adopt a strong sense of individual responsibility will ensure that harmful incidents caused by construction site hazards are few and far between.

    If you combine all of this with an all-in-one construction business app like Connecteam, you can easily start to implement these safety procedures into your daily operations

    Say goodbye to the days of time-wasting back and forth between employees and managers and say hello to efficient construction project management.

    Moreover, you will no longer need to spend countless hours writing out workplace safety protocols, risk assessment forms, and checklists using pen and paper. And no more worrying that workers forgot to read and sign them.

    So bring these healthy habits into your construction site and implement them with Connecteam’s construction management app to keep your workers safe, engaged and on task all at once.

    Keep Your Construction Workers Safe With Connecteam

    Everything you need in one place to prevent all construction site hazards

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