Construction sites are extremely dangerous places and lead to substantial numbers of injuries and deaths every year. Construction workers are exposed to a whole variety of risks in their place of work, from heavy duty machinery to falling objects and excessively loud noise. Scaffolding, temporary lifts and hoists all need to be correctly managed to avoid accidents such as falls from height. Collapsing trenches and foundations also pose a major threat, and the variety of trades people working in close contact with each other, along with all the internal construction site traffic, can also lead to additional risk. On larger sites, cranes are another major threat to health and safety and measures should be taken to ensure they do not pose a hazard.
Almost a third of fatal injuries occur on construction sites
According to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), construction is one of the highest risk industries. While the sector only accounts for about 5% of the employees in the UK, 27% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major injuries are caused on construction sites. 39 construction workers were killed in their workplace in the period 2012 - 2013, with over half of these being as a result of falls. There were almost 2,000 major reportable injuries over the same period, with the majority being caused by falls or slips and trips.
Employers must ensure safety for construction workers
Employers and contractors who control construction work are responsible for assessing risks and providing workers with relevant training as well as any necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Risk assessments and safe systems of working need to be appropriately communicated and updated as the construction work develops. If your employer has not upheld their health and safety responsibilities and you have been injured on a construction site as a result, you may be entitled to compensation.