Are you prepared for the five main causes of injury on a construction site?

In the commercial construction industry, those causes are:

  • Falls from height
  • Falls on the same level
  • Being hit by moving objects
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Electric shock

To avoid the third cause of injury – being hit by moving objects – be aware that hitting against moving objects can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Cluttered workplaces that prevent easy and safe movement
  • Workers colliding with mobile machinery, boxes and pallets
  • Working close to objects
  • Having no warning signs at intersections
  • Doors opening onto walkways
  • Poor lighting
  • No warning lights or beepers on moving vehicles

A construction site is an extremely busy work environment. For example, whilst excavator operators are usually safe when on a excavator, those on foot are at risk. Pedestrians need to keep a safe distance. Employers can designate safe areas outside of traffic patterns and eliminate distraction – no ear buds or loud music.

Similarly, when working with trucks and dogs, workers ought to stay away from the trailer when material is being loaded or unloaded. If workers are required to assist, have a safe communication plan with the operators and drivers and a safe area to stand. All workers need reflective clothing.

To prevent colliding with moving objects, the following safety features can be adopted:

  • Traffic management tools such as signage, marking, safety cone, flag, barricade or bunting
  • Reversing cameras, sensor devices or alarms
  • Speed control bumps
  • Elevated walkway or crossing gates
  • Safety cages or guarding for tyre rim assembly/fitting
  • Stanchions or chokes to secure log stacking
  • Bollards

To prevent being trapped by moving machinery or equipment, it can be extremely helpful to implement:

  • Machine guarding, including fixed, interlocked, photoelectric or a combination of those
  • Emergency stop switches
  • Electronic guarding and sensing devices, including trip bars or electronic curtains
  • Rollover protective structures (ROPS) for tractors
  • Power take-off (PTO) guards