Only the construction workers know how dangerous the construction site is. Every minute there is a probability of falling objects that might cause severe injury to the workers if hit.
You can always hear about injuries and accidents happening on construction sites. The most common cases usually occur due to falling objects such as tools, equipment, debris, etc. Falling from a height is another serious incident. So, if you happen to visit any construction site, make sure to take full precautions. Even if you are passing by such an area, do not rush.
Falling objects are considered a dangerous incident on construction sites. Due to gravity, the impact of the object increases, even if it is a small one. If a brick supposedly falls from a height and hits a worker below, the effect would be high. That is why official reports also identify falling objects as deadly, providing the situation.
Since the consequences of falling objects are severe and unprecedented, researchers and official safety experts suggest changing the approach and outlook to falling objects on site. Falling object prevention measures and safety standards for construction sites are continuously in the improvement phase.
The five most common falling object scenarios that you might hear about on construction sites include:
- Improper handling of machine parts, power tools, and hand tools.
- When destroying a structure, the fall of concrete, beams, ceiling materials, and girders.
- Accidental fall of building or construction materials like pipes, drywall, and lumber.
- Excess load on equipment like a hoist, backhoe, crane, cherry picker, and boom.
- Scattering of construction materials like discarded parts and debris.
It is not surprising for you to think that falling small objects from a considerate height is not harmful. However, the falling object statistics say otherwise.
If a solid object falls from a height of 64 feet, the falling speed will be 43.8 miles per hour, and its impact with the ground in just 2 seconds. The impact of a falling object is so severe that even a 2-ounce pen falling from a height of 230 feet can penetrate a construction worker’s hardhat. So, can you imagine the severity and repercussions of carelessness and falling objects on construction sites!
Without proper training and protective gear, someone is bound to get hurt by falling objects. Commonly sustained injuries by falling objects on construction sites are bruises, neck & back injuries, paralysis, lacerations, broken bones, concussions, spine injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and permanent disabilities. The most extreme consequence is death.
Even if you cannot entirely prevent minor injuries here and there, you can wholly take death out of the picture with correct measures applied on the construction sites.
Common mistakes of construction workers that could harm them from falling objects.
It is a must for construction workers to take precautionary measures on-site. Because on construction sites, accidents happen all the time, be it minor or significant. Besides workers, even the passersby become a victim of falling objects. It is essential to put up big warning signs of falling objects, accidents, and injuries near the construction site.
Placing proper and strong barricades around the site can help prevent and minimize the scale of accidents due to falling objects. The negligence of the construction workers and the respective authority have to face legal proceedings if a hazardous condition harms passersby.
Anyhow, the following mistakes by the workers could lead to falling objects on the construction site:
- Lack of warning signs on the construction site.
- Using malfunctioning or defective equipment.
- Use of faulty and weak materials or parts resulting in collapse and breakdown of structure.
- Not using proper safety devices.
- Neglecting the safety standards issued by the high-authority.
- Applying excess load.
- Incorrect placing and moving of materials and another load via crane or hoist.
- Weak and incorrect stacking of supplies and materials.
- Improper and inaccurate use of the equipment and other tools.
- Lack of proper workers’ training.
- Lack of adequate and timely supervision.
Effective ways to minimize and prevent risks of falling objects.
There are several ways to prevent falling objects incidents and injuries on construction sites. The workers can apply these and reduce the risks of falling objects.
- When using equipment and other tools, make sure to secure them tightly.
- Do not shift excess weight while lifting and moving load via crane or hoist.
- Ensure to keep away faulty tools or equipment from the site.
- Make a habit of inspecting the equipment and tools before using them.
- Stack materials properly so that it does not fall, slide, or collapse.
- Do not stack objects and materials too high. It will increase the possibility of falls.
- Do not misplace or use the wrong equipment to finish a task.
- Maintain caution while walking or standing beneath the area where overhead work is underway.
- Stay away from scaffolds and ladders.
- Always wear protective gear while on the job like hard-toe boots, goggles, helmets, hardhat, gloves, etc.
- Like a crane, the front loader, hoist, and heavy equipment do not stand near a fall zone.
- Take note of warning signs indicating the danger of falling objects and incidents.
There is no solid solution to prevent falling objects and accidents on construction sites. The only way is to minimize and avoid the risk.