According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common construction site injuries suffered by workers include:
Burns and scarring – Burns are one of the most common construction site injuries around, mainly because of the likelihood of fires and explosions on build sites. Exposed wiring, dangerous chemicals, leaking pipes, and other items all pose a potential risk for fires, which if not handled properly, could endanger nearby workers.
Head injuries – Head injuries are often suffered on construction sites due to falling objects, tools, or materials, especially for workers who are digging or building from the bottom up. These injuries can include lacerations on the head, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and more. A hard hat can help protect workers from these injuries.
Injuries to the spinal cord – These construction site injuries are often suffered because of falls, usually off a ladder, scaffolding, or other high parts of the build site. Spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or full paralysis, lifelong disabilities, and brain damage.
Cuts and lacerations – Construction workers often suffer cuts and lacerations to the skin due to poorly maintained or defective tools, unsecured machinery, exposed nails, and other on-site hazards. These cuts and gashes can even lead to infection, if not treated properly. Workers should wear protective clothing and gear at all times to prevent these injuries from occurring.
Broken, fractured, or crushed bones – Due to the heavy machinery involved in this line of work, some of the most common construction site injuries are broken, fractured, or even crushed bones. Bulldozers, cranes, and other equipment, if not secured properly or operated correctly, could hit or crush a nearby worker, inflicting serious injury.
Limb or digit loss – Construction sites are full of heavy objects, materials, and pieces of machinery. If one of these falls on or traps a worker, it can easily cut off a limb, finger, or toe. Additionally, if limbs or digits are crushed or severely mangled, it may require amputation in order to preserve the worker’s health.
Loss of hearing – The loud noises of heavy machinery and building equipment make hearing loss one of the more common construction site injuries suffered. If workers fail to wear earplugs while operating jackhammers or other extremely loud equipment, they could affect or lose their hearing. Additionally, if workers are struck by an object or hit with falling debris on the side of the head or on the ear, it could also lead to partial or total hearing loss.
Stress injuries – Construction requires a lot of repetitive movement. Constant lifting, bending, or moving in a certain way can cause stress injuries over time. These often occur in the back and can have life-changing effects for the worker.
Heat stroke – Construction workers are required to work year-round, no matter what the weather outside is like. Unfortunately, for workers in particularly hot areas, this can pose an additional on-the-job hazard. Overexertion and sun exposure, especially in the heat of summer, can cause workers to suffer a heat stroke, which comes with nausea, lightheadedness, and often fainting. If left untreated, a heat stroke can lead to brain, heart, or kidney damage or even cause death.
Vision loss – Improper handling of or exposure to on-site chemicals, gases, and other hazards can pose a risk to workers’ vision. In some cases, prolonged exposure can even lead to partial or complete vision loss.