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Dangers of Housing Construction

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Did you know in America, the building code process is less restrictive for residential development? Homebuilders have more flexibility than their commercial development peers; however, the risks to health and safety remain a focal point.

Fatalities in construction remain high, and while equipment is improving and deemed safer, human error causes deaths on the job.

Deaths – Construction

OSHA links to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report where it states that in 2019 there was a five percent increase in fatalities on private construction projects. With so much flexibility on residential homes is built, the risks of serious injury are high during construction.

Hiring the right contractor for your home build is the key to a successful construction project. Work with a contractor with experience, the right licenses, health and safety record and adequate insurance coverage.

The latter is more important than you think. When you work with an uninsured construction contractor, you are exposing yourself and your construction project to many unnecessary risks, any of which can put you in severe financial jeopardy. What are the risks you face when hiring an uninsured contractor?

On-Site Injuries

A homeowner or project owner may be liable if workers – including contractors – get injured during property development. You’ll want to avoid the costly expense of injury liability which can seriously break your bank.

Unfortunately, the responsibility falls to you when the contractor fails to provide insurance for workers, including any subcontractor involved in the project. Since subcontractors are usually cheaper, they cannot afford to provide their own insurance coverage.

On top of that, on-site injuries are quite common. There are countless injury types and even more kinds of accidents that can happen on the project site. This is the first reason why you should always double-check the construction contractor’s insurance.

So what are some of the most common construction site injuries?

Most Common Injuries

Falls

Even on residential construction sites, where the heights are much lower than commercial construction sites, falls are the major cause of fatalities or injury.

A fall result from any or a combination of a multitude of causes, including:

  • incorrect or faulty scaffolding
  • lack of and incorrect use of safety railings and PPE gear
  • construction debris and obstacles
  • tiredness or fatigue, which in itself can result from many causes, including lack of breaks, lack of sleep, intoxication and so on

Vehicle Accidents

Poor use of vehicles during construction has resulted in deaths and serious injuries. Not only is the driver at risk, but also passengers and site workers.

Electrical

Incorrect installation and electrical equipment use is a major contributing factor to high injuries on construction sites.

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Materials

Handling and movement of building materials is another area that fraught with safety risks. Being struck by or crushed under objects usually happens quickly and without notice. Maybe the load was too heavy or not properly secured, or the handler had a lapse in concentration.

Prevention is the best cure.

Avoiding construction accidents is the best cure. Never shy away from investing in and using the best safety equipment on the market, including worker PPE, i.e. face masks, earplugs, gloves and face shields etc.

Home Owners’ Action

Ignorance will not relieve you of your responsibilities and liabilities with home building projects. Ensure you understand the legalities of home building and that your lawyer has approved of any contract you need to sign so your rights are protected.

Ideally, during the construction, you have given the site over to the construction team, and it is up to their management to look after and protect all site staff and provide a secure site for neighbours and pedestrians.

Here is another article on common types of construction claims.

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