The Focus Four Hazards in Construction Jobsite and How to Avoid Them
The Focus Four Hazards in Construction Jobsite and How to Avoid Them

The Focus Four Hazards in Construction Jobsite and How to Avoid Them


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Prevention is better than cure.

On the outside, construction job sites look like organized chaos, with everything happening simultaneously. Various contractors with various expertise and trades work in unison towards the same project goal.

Every contractor plays a critical role in bringing the project to reality, and their safety is just as indispensable as their job. In spite of this, construction work can be risky and dangerous. In fact, 150,000 workers in construction job sites are injured every year, with an estimated 3 in every 100,000 workers dying during operations each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Managing construction site safety is vital since construction work can be hazardous. Mitigating the risk of injuries and accidents requires the right safety protocols, practices, and adequate training. 

To prevent job site accidents, it’s important to identify the common causes, known as the construction industry OSHA’s Focus Four Hazards, and incorporate measures to prevent them from happening in the first place.


The construction industry is one of the top sources of workplace electrocutions. Electrical hazards come in wide arrays of forms. Some are directly connected to electrical work, such as inadequate wiring, improper grounding, or overloaded circuits. Some other electrical hazards are wet conditions, damaged tools or equipment, or overhead power lines.

There are multiple strategies to avoid electrocutions on a construction job site. One is having the necessary training and complying with OSHA standards to avoid electrical-related injury or even death. On a construction site job site, workers should be:

  • Check extension cords for damages and remove them from use.
  • Keeping metal items away from electrical circuits. 
  • Verifying that the equipment is properly grounded or double insulated. 
  • Unplugging equipment and tools when conducting repairs.
  • Use proper PPE for the job as necessary, such as a hard hat, leather gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and a face shield.

Working with electricity is commonplace in managing construction projects. Because of this, knowing and applying safety protocols is critical to an electrocution-free job site.


Slip, Trip & Fall Hazards

Most of the slips, trips, and falls can be avoided when protection equipment and fall prevention are properly executed. 

There are numerous scenarios where a construction worker could slip, trip, or fall on a job site. Here are a few common events:

  • Loose surfaces or uneven flooring
  • Spill of wet or solid material
  • Floor holes not properly marked
  • Cables and cords in the open and not properly secured

A slip, trip, or fall can be avoided in construction operations if workers are prompt in cleaning up spills or messes and using “wet floor” or other similar caution signs. All holes should be properly marked with caution tape or sign boards. Additionally, keeping the job site well-lit and well-lit will considerably help prevent this type of injury.

There are multiple scenarios in which a construction worker may be at risk of falling, and this includes working at heights. A fall hazard is especially risky in construction activities where workers may be reaching overhead areas from ladders, wall finishing from scaffolding, or framing and roofing works at any given time. To minimize the risk of falls, a hierarchy of fall protection measures should be strictly followed. These include eliminating the fall hazard using passive fall protection systems, fall restraint systems, and fall arrest systems and incorporating necessary administrative controls.

Nonetheless, many of these accidents can be prevented by enforcing proper fall prevention and protection measures on-site. Fall protection requirements are prepared by OSHA, which mandates that four feet or more elevations in general industry workplaces and six feet or more in the construction job site must have adequate fall protection such as the following:

  • Heightened awareness of the job site.
  • Proper safety training.
  • Utilization of fall protection measures that can minimize the risk of trips, slips, and falls on job sites.

By implementing these safety measures, construction workers can help mitigate accident risk and ensure they return home safely at the end of each day.


Struck-by Accidents

A construction site involves multiple moving parts, and struck-by accidents are another typical cause of worker injury. 

A stuck-by accident, as the name itself, is just how it sounds. These injuries happen when a worker has forcible impact or contact with a tool, object, or equipment.

Getting struck by an object can happen in different ways, such as when an object falls, flies, rolls, or swings into someone. For instance, a carpenter carrying hollow blocks on the job site could accidentally drop it in on a co-worker when working from a high area. Moreover, a worker working on the ground in a blind spot could be struck by equipment that is turning a corner and not able to see them.

Prevention is better than cure, and most importantly, it saves lives. The risk of struck-by accidents can be prevented by:

  • Connecting tools to your work belt.
  • Planning construction traffic routes.
  • Protecting your head and body with construction-appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) like steel-toed boots and hard hats
  • Continuing to monitor, educate, and promote job site safety.
  • Identifying and promoting safe crane and lift work zones.
  • Keep an updated construction worker schedule so workers are out of the dangerous activity zones.
  • Maintain awareness of your surroundings with a good line of sight and active listening.
  • Setting the proper control measures for workers on your construction job site and executing strong safety management will keep struck-by accidents at bay in your project execution phase.


Caught-In or -Between Accidents

Construction sites are full of equipment, tools, and heavy machinery. The majority of these objects are the source of caught-in or —between accidents in the industry. Recognizing their risk for workplace danger is a good way to avoid being caught, pinched, squeezed, crushed, or compressed between objects or parts of equipment.

Implementing construction site safety around equipment, tools, and heavy machinery minimizes worker risk of injury. This ensures that the workers are:

  • Applying proper methods to support or secure equipment for safe use.
  • Guarding machinery and doing it properly. 
  • Securing excavation sites by sloping trenches and adding shoring for support.
  • Creating a safe distance between workers and equipment, materials, or other construction objects – stationary or moving.

Working in a construction site safely and attentively will help prevent bodily harm from being caught, squeezed, pinched, crushed, or compressed on the job.

How Can Construction Companies Further Promote Safety on Jobsite?


Construction safety training and management are crucial in preventing hazards and accidents on job sites. OSHA’s Focus Four Hazards can be avoided with the integration of formal safety protocols and training programs. 

A construction safety management system entails identifying, analyzing, evaluating, and controlling potential risks on the job site. The main goal is to take a proactive approach to prevent these identified accidents from taking place. However, construction safety management is not just about implementing procedures, policies, and assessments.

It is also critical to provide regular safety training and programs to construction workers. Construction safety training can take different forms, such as safety meetings, informal Toolbox Talks, and even formal OSHA classes. These practices serve to reinforce safety practices and encourage workers to be aware of identifying and addressing potential hazards, and this accountability leads to improved construction crew management.

By promoting collaboration and communication around safety, Toolbox Talks can champion a safety culture on the job site, which will reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Safety reminders on signages and posters can serve as a helpful nudge to make sure that workers adhere to safety protocols and procedures, allowing them to go home in one piece at the end of each work day.


What Happens if a Worker is Injured in a Construction Accident?

If one of your workers is injured in a work-related construction accident, you may give them appropriate compensation for the physical injuries and their mental suffering. Options include the following:

Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ compensation is a type of work insurance that provides ample benefits to employees injured during their employment. Most employers are mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance regardless of the number of workers they employ and regardless of whether the workers are under part-time or full-time contracts. A construction employee can recover two types of benefits: wage loss benefits and necessary medical expenses.

Third-Party Lawsuit

The trade-off for receiving workers’ compensation claims or benefits is that workers can’t sue their employer or co-worker for work-related injuries. However, suppose a worker is injured by a third party (someone other than the employer or co-worker). In that case, a worker can file a workers’ compensation claim and, additionally, file a separate third-party lawsuit against the person, employer, or entity that caused the injury. To win a third-party lawsuit, a worker must prove that the third party involved was negligent.

Wrongful Death Claim

If an employee dies while working at a construction site, the employee’s family can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased construction employee.


Embracing a Safer Workplace in Construction

Promoting a safer workplace culture in construction sites involves:

  • Mandating effective safety measures, such as involving workers in safety programs.
  • Providing regular safety training.
  • Supplying appropriate personal protective equipment when doing their assigned tasks.

It is important to prioritize employees’ well-being and implement a safety culture within the construction organization to prevent accidents, deaths, and financial losses. By eliminating unsafe environments and behaviors through proper training and programs, construction companies can significantly minimize the risk of the “Focus Four” hazards and embrace safer working conditions for all.

Pro Crew Schedule is a construction crew dispatch software that can help you organize schedules and tasks to ensure that all precautionary measures are implemented on-site.  

Start your 30-day free trial today.

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