After agriculture, the construction industry in India is the 2nd largest employer and contributor to economic activity. Unfortunately, this sector is very hazardous and contributes towards a maximum number of accidents, deaths, and illness to the workers. This fact holds true for other developed countries as well. According to Hämäläinen et al. (2010), accident statistics of the Indian construction sector are scarce and not properly and regularly reported.
High-risk working environment, surrounded by building materials, machinery, and tools, construction workers can find themselves facing dangers at any given point in time. Anyone who is involved in the construction sector understands well that construction accidents are part and parcel of the industry. But, should we settle down on this fact? No right, we should try and make efforts that they don’t occur, if not totally eliminate we should at least try to reduce them from occurring.
Well, to achieve this goal, we first need to understand what’s actually causing them. Let us make it easy for you, here are the top 3 causes of accidents in construction sites:
Causes Of Accidents In Construction – Top 3 In India
Accidents in construction sites can be caused due to several reasons, falls and slips, followed by struck by an object, electrocution, caught-in/between, ladder accidents, scaffolding accidents, exposure to irritants and defective equipments are just a few to name. Many times, accidents also occur due to some type of negligence and can involve the improper use of tools/equipment, unsafe work site conditions and lack of protective safeguards.
In India, the “Fatal 3’ or top 3 causes of accidents in construction are Electrocution, Falls and Fire, let’s discuss them in detail:
Construction always involves people climbing great heights, but did you know, “Falls” accounts for maximum reasons of deaths in construction sites i.e. 12803 deaths in the year 2013? Yes, falls is one of the most common cause of accidents or deaths in construction sites. From materials, stray tools, faulty construction of scaffolding, unsafe use of ladders to uneven holes or ground, there are many such perils on a construction site which could lead to a dangerous slip, trip, or fall causing serious injuries like broken bones, fractures, back injuries and also head injuries. All construction safety plans should contain necessary provisions to protect workers from falling from perilous heights. Here are few of the hazards you should be managing:
- Unprotected sides
- Portable ladders not used properly
- Bad scaffold construction
According to sources, during the year 2013, around 10218 Indian workers died due to electrocution. Construction sites are always on work in progress, hence workers are often exposed power lines, wiring, and unfinished electrical systems. If workers come in direct contact with such energized power sources it could lead to electrocution or shock. Many a times, accidents also occur due to unawareness of the workers. Shocks or electrocution can cause several types of burns, internal wounds and even cardiac arrest.
Unfinished piping, leaking gases, and incomplete electrical systems, are main contributors to fire and explosions in construction sites. During 2013, around 1690 deaths occurred due to fire in India, such accidents were mainly caused due to short-circuits. The five most common causes of industrial fires and explosions are:
- Combustible dust
- Hot work
- Flammable liquids and gasses
- Equipment and machinery
- Electrical hazards
Unfortunately, accidents that involve any of the above factors have potential to cause serious and even life-changing injuries for the workers. Serious on-the-job injuries could lead to expensive treatments and medical bills, also lost income and earnings for the injured which could keep him/her away from work. Along with that, the families of the victim also find themselves in very terrible financial circumstances. For the construction firm, the consequences can be extremely costly as any worker who falls victim to a fatal accident on the construction site due to unlawful negligence can sue the firm for compensation. If the claim is proved, it could cost the construction firm significant amount and their reputation too.
Construction Site Safety Should Be Of Paramount Importance
Safety in construction site comes at a price but has no alternative. While safety regulations and programs exist, there is no going back from an injury or death. Safety consequently should be of paramount importance. Here are 7 Effective Tips To Ensure Your Workers Are Safe At Your Construction Site.
Despite the fact that construction sites would always appear to be dangerous, many of these accidents can be easily avoided through protective measures and sense of responsibility towards the workers. Remember, prevention starts with adequate awareness and an appropriately maintained working environment that is safe and secure.
Curated by editor at Wienerberger India