(3.5-min read)

Few would say that being a construction worker is a clean job free of risk. The nature of construction work certainly places workers in potentially hazardous positions. In Oklahoma alone, the average rate of on-the-job fatalities for construction workers was nearly 18 deaths a year. This does not include a variety of debilitating injuries that can result from the profession. Let’s take a look at just five reasons why being a construction worker is riskier than the average profession.

1. Construction Work Can Require Working at Tremendous Heights

During the process of building tall structures, many of the usual safety devices we take for granted are not present at the time of construction. Railings, banisters, or even walls and floors may not yet be in existence. All the while, construction workers are required to ascend great heights to ensure the work gets done. While the average person doesn’t even consider how high from the ground they are in a building, construction workers frequently have to navigate how to traverse the heights safely.

2. Construction Work Can Get Dusty

You may have seen construction workers completely covered from their helmets to their boots with dust. What you may not consider is just how much of this dust finds its ways into the worker’s mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Inhaling sawdust regularly can lead to asthma or even nasal cancer. Silica dust from sand, bricks, tile, granite, and concrete can find its way into worker’s lungs and cause lung cancer. Demolition crews may also face many hazardous materials, such as asbestos, which can be especially lethal if inhaled.

3. Construction Works Are Often Around Loud Sounds

Anyone who lives or works in a city can recall just how loud construction sites can be. If you find them to be especially noisy, imagine what they are like construction workers. Though construction workers may grow accustomed to the loud noises, being accustomed does not mean being immune. If construction workers go without hearing protection for any length of time on noisy construction sites, the hearing damage and hearing loss can range from a slight ringing to total permanent hearing loss.

4. Exposure to the Elements

Most every construction worker has spent some duration of their career working outside. Whether building the frame for a building, installing a roof or painting an exterior, almost every construction worker has clocked their fair share of hours without any shade or climate control systems. Whether working in the scorching heat or the bitter cold, years and years of daily exposure to the elements without the proper protection precautions can take their toll on construction workers’ health.

5. Construction Site Accidents

Accidents can happen in any workplace, but due to the array of tools and situations, construction site accidents are especially dangerous. Whether a worker overestimated their abilities or the abilities of their crew members or tools, avoidable accidents frequently occur on construction sites.

There is one thing that all of these dangerous scenarios have in common — they’re all extremely preventable. When observed, the robust framework of worksite regulations keeps construction workers safe from injury or work-associated sicknesses. Though the risk remains, most construction-site dangers are avoidable by following the proper safety precautions.

The construction crews with Cowen Construction pride themselves on their ability to carefully abide by all construction regulations required by law and some that go above and beyond. By doing this, workers stay safe, and construction projects remain on schedule and under budget.

Learn more about Cowen Construction today.