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The Six Dangers Of Working In The Construction Industry

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construction workers

construction workers

The construction industry includes any form of residential, non-residential, or engineering-related construction. Construction workers work at construction sites, which is a piece of land where buildings are built, repaired, or expanded. 

The work at these sites often involves handling heavy machinery and other risky behavior like working at heights, dealing with electricity, etc. that is why this industry has a high fatality rate. However, these dangers can be reduced by training the workers properly and following protocols set by the professionals.

According to a report by the International Labour Organization, approximately 108 thousand construction workers are killed on-site every year. Construction workers are 3 times more likely to die on site than workers in any other industry. The nature of work puts construction sites in the vicinity of several dangers. A responsible employer or contractor can reduce the fatality and injury rate by following proper industry practices and protocol and providing the workers with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Construction is one of the largest industries in the US and Canada, with site requirements ever-changing. Every day the work setting is different. And with constant changes come constant looming threats.

This article will educate you about some common dangers in the construction industry. 

Eye Injuries

More than 10,000 eye injuries are reported by construction workers each year. Dust is the primary cause of eye injuries, while other common culprits include splinters, nails, or tiny pieces of metal. Harmful chemicals and arc welding can also irritate or burn the eyes.

Hence, it is crucial to wear an eye and face shield at these sites. When welding for long hours, it is advisable to wear proper safety glasses. Among other safety equipment, prescription safety glasses Canada are commonly known for their quality, functionality and design options. There are many reputable companies that specialize in eye safety glasses and other safety equipment in Canada.  Before starting any construction work that can potentially damage the eyes, workers should wear their prescription glasses.


Electricity Hazard

Overhead electricity wires or any exposed live wires cause electric shocks to site workers working nearby. If an inexperienced person is doing electrical work, the chances of electrocution increase even more.

But all these hazards are avoidable. Workers should remove any combustible material from around the electrical wires. Properly trained electricians should be hired for electrical work. Site workers must be given the details of all potential electrical hazards at the site. Only authorized personnel should be allowed to use high voltage equipment. All staff at the site should know the location of the main electric switch, to turn it off in case of an emergency.


Noise Damage

Construction sites are noisy. This noise pollution is often ignored because its potential damages take time to manifest. Constant exposure to loud noises can cause long-term hearing problems, often leading to deafness. Hearing problems caused by excessive noise can lead to other serious issues, including brain atrophy and lower cognitive function affecting memory and listening and communicating skills.

To minimize noise-related damages, workers should wear ear muffs or any sound-blocking headphones, while the management should carry out regular noise level assessments at the site. 


Toxic Minerals

Dust at construction sites is a daily occurrence. However, it can have a lot of harmful particles in it. Asbestos is the most common naturally occurring particle that causes a lot of deaths at construction sites. It is released into the air by different processes (like abrasion) carried out at the construction site. Chemical fumes coming from certain areas at the site can also be damaging. Inhaling asbestos, fumes, and other such toxic minerals can cause cancer and other lung diseases. 

To avoid all such damages, workers should wear proper masks or face shields. Workers should also be adequately trained to deal with substances that may release toxic particles. From proper ventilation to safety meetings, workers should be informed about the presence of any harmful chemical they may contact.



The number one cause of death at construction sites is falling. Uneven, wet/slippery surfaces or any obstacles can lead to a fatal fall. Working at heights of 6 feet or more can significantly increase the chances of a fall and injury. Falling can lead to death or a life of disability. When working on high-rise buildings, the life of laborers is at huge risk. Scaffoldings are a cause of falling-related deaths. Weak and high scaffolds often do not support the weight of workers for a long time and give in, leading to falls.

Wherever possible, workers should avoid working at heights. If working at a height is inevitable, workers should be provided with proper protective suits and helmets alongside new and sturdy equipment that won’t break down mid-air. Scaffolds made with FRP with a double guard rail must be present where necessary. Professionals should regularly inspect ladders or stairways at the site for any faults, cracks, or damages.


Blue Fingers

Blue finger or hand-arm vibration syndrome is a disease caused by the consistent use of powerful vibratory tools or any other handheld power tool. It is a painful disease that damages nerves, joints, and blood vessels. It affects the fine motor skills of the patient. It is preventable, but once developed, it is permanent. The disease gets worse with the arrival of cold weather.

High-power vibratory tools should be checked and maintained regularly. Workers should have gloves and other necessary protective equipment when working with these tools. Management should make a schedule, so one worker does not have to work constantly with these tools.   



Every year a lot of workers succumb to death in the construction industry. It is the largest and deadliest industry to work in. The nature of work at construction sites poses many dangers. Only some of the common hazards at construction sites are discussed in this article. Falling, electrocution, noise pollution, and other such hazards can cause death or disability. 

Hazards at construction sites cannot be eradicated entirely, but safe working conditions can minimize harm to human life.

Workers must be well trained and should follow proper workplace protocols. Construction companies should provide their workers with genuine protective equipment like safety goggles or helmets. Regulatory authorities should do annual checks to ensure the fulfillment of all safety requirements at the site. 







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