Top 4 Construction Hazards
motionindustries | May 16, 2014

Help keep yourself and your employees safe. Educate yourself on the four top construction hazards and learn guidelines to prevent each one.

As with any physical labor, there are inherent risks to working on a construction site. Being aware of the hazards associated with working in the industry can help you keep yourself and the people who work with you safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists four primary causes for fatalities on construction sites. Here are the top 4 construction hazards and guidelines to prevent each one:

Worker putting on safety harness


  • To prevent dangerous falls, wear personal fall arrest equipment if working more than 6 feet above the ground.
  • Fall protection shall be worn if working on roofs.
  • Scaffolds over 10 feet should have guardrails and a completely planked workspace.
  • Cover openings in the floor and make sure they are properly labelled.


Struck-by Hazards

  • Backup alarms are necessary when operating a vehicle in reverse. Pay attention to all backup sounds and signals.
  • Do not stand or work between a moving and a fixed object.
  • Many struck-by accidents are during roadway construction. Wear a reflectivesafety vest when working near traffic or other moving vehicles.
  • Wear a hardhat when under potential falling debris.
  • A moving crane must have its swing radius and rotating parts barricaded.


Caught-in/Between Hazards

  • All trenches at least 5 feet deep must have substantial protection measures in place. Sloping walls, trench boxes, trench shields, or a combination of the three should be in place.
  • Trenches over 4 feet deep must have ladders for easy entrances and exits.
  • Ensure spoil piles are at least 2 feet from the edge of any trench.
  • Any excavation or trenching job should have an advisor on site to ensure all trenches are safe and conform to OSHA standards of safety.


  • Be aware of all power lines, especially when operating equipment. Always keep yourself at least 10 feet away from power lines. Tools and equipment should maintain this distance as well.
  • All power tools must be grounded or double-insulated.
  • Extension cords must not be used if frayed or damaged. Make sure all extension cords are made for hard service and have a grounding pin at their attachment plug.
  • Always install Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) at temporary power poles or where appropriate.
  • Be especially careful with all electrical hazards when elevated on ladders or scaffolding.