According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1 in every 10 construction workers are injured on the job every year. While there’s no way to completely eliminate risks on a construction site, many of them can be mitigated with proactive thinking and a watchful eye.

Below, we’ll be taking a look at 6 of the top ways injuries occur on construction sites and how you can stay as safe as possible.

Falling from ladders:

According to OSHA, falling hazards are the leading cause of construction site injury, and many of these come from improper ladder usage. When using a ladder, always make sure that it is tied down and that it has three points of contact at any given time. Also, pay careful attention to any posted weight limits (this includes not just your bodyweight, but also the gear you’re carrying).

Scaffolding hazards:

As with ladders, scaffolding contributes to many of the falling injuries every year. 65% of construction workers use scaffolding on the job, and as anyone who has ever used it knows, it requires extreme caution. Make sure you’re always wearing a helmet and boots, and always pay attention to any posted weight limits on scaffolding.

Improper lifting technique:

When it comes to lifting, following some basic rules can save you a lot of injury. Always lift with your legs and not with your back. Make sure to do some dynamic stretches before attempting to lift anything heavy to keep your muscles loose. Finally, never underestimate how heavy something is. Just because it looks light, doesn’t mean it can’t cause serious injury.

Heavy machinery:

Don’t crowd any excavating, loading, paving, or dozing machinery. Many preventable construction incidents occur when workers are too close to heavy machinery. It’s a good idea to always have a lookout whenever possible to ensure an area is clear before operating any industrial equipment.

Improperly entering or loading machinery:

On a construction site, it’s often the simplest things that cause the most harm, such as improperly loading or entering machinery. Always check to assure your boots, gloves and other equipment are free of mud and grime to avoid slipping and falling. Also, be sure to follow all operating or loading instructions carefully. On the job, extra care is always better.

Not being proactive:

The best way to avoid construction site injury is to be proactive in identifying and eliminating risks. Always report safety violations and make suggestions on how to make the worksite safer. Alarm others of any potential hazards that you see around or near them. Most importantly, stay diligent and do everything you can to ensure the safety of yourself and your team.

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