Between the dangerous chemicals, machinery and other hazards present on a construction site, workers in this profession face exposure to safety risks more frequently than in most other occupations. The 937 work-related deaths specific to the industry in 2015 in the United States starkly illustrates the potential for lethal injury on a construction site and the need for constant vigilance. 

Occupational safety professionals seek to eliminate the chance of injury from the environment by utilizing safer tools, machinery and chemicals, as well as removing the presence of construction hazards when possible. Precautionary measures by employers and workers alike can also help to prevent injuries.

1. Forklift Safety

Despite the potential danger that forklifts pose, they are also effective pieces of machinery. Therefore, occupational safety professionals cannot replace them. However, with stringent regulation, they can minimize the risk of accidents. These regulations include requiring seat belts, avoiding braking or speeding in slippery areas and allowing operation only by certified professionals.

2. Trenching Safety

Trenching involves excavating earth to create a narrow passage. Depth varies based on the purpose. The sides of the trench may become unstable and collapse, a dangerous situation for any worker in the trench at the time. 

Measures to prevent trenching accidents include avoiding cutting the walls of the trench at too steep an angle and ensuring that workers steer clear of an unprotected trench. Exits must be stable and clearly marked.

3. Scaffolding

In addition to fall risks, scaffolds also pose a risk of electrocution because they consist of materials that conduct electricity. It is, therefore, necessary to erect them at least 10 feet away from any power lines. 

Workers should take care to transport construction materials upward with caution and maintain weight limits at all times. To ensure stability and safety, scaffolding should undergo frequent inspection. 

Unlike most workplaces, there can never be the complete elimination of safety risks on construction sites. However, workers, employers and safety professionals can cooperate to minimize them.