Recognizing the 7 Most Common Near Misses in Constructions

Constructions wary in shapes and sizes but one thing is common - safety comes first in this industry as well.

Near misses—incidents that could have resulted in serious harm or damage but didn't—serve as crucial warnings of potential hazards and areas for improvement. Identifying and understanding these near misses is essential for preventing accidents and ensuring the well-being of workers and the public. Here are seven of the most common near misses in construction and engineering:

Fall Hazards

Working at height is an inherent part of many construction projects, and falls from scaffolds, ladders, or elevated platforms are among the most common near misses. Failure to use appropriate fall protection equipment or to secure work areas properly can lead to potentially catastrophic accidents.

Struck-By Incidents

Near misses involving workers being struck by moving objects, such as equipment, materials, or vehicles, are prevalent on construction sites. Inadequate signaling, improper storage of materials, or failure to establish clear work zones can contribute to these incidents.

Caught-In/Between Accidents

Near misses involving workers getting caught in or between objects, such as machinery, equipment, or collapsing structures, are also common in construction and engineering. Inadequate guarding, improper use of machinery, or lack of proper training can increase the risk of these incidents.

Electrical Hazards

Near misses related to electrical hazards, such as electrical shocks or arc flashes, are significant concerns on construction sites. Failure to properly identify and control electrical hazards, inadequate training, or using damaged electrical equipment can lead to these incidents.

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Trenching and Excavation Hazards

Near misses involving trench collapses or cave-ins during excavation work pose serious risks to workers' safety. Inadequate shoring, failing to inspect trenches regularly, or disregarding soil stability assessments can lead to these potentially deadly incidents.

Material Handling Incidents

Near misses related to improper lifting, handling, or transporting of heavy materials can result in injuries or property damage. Inadequate training, using defective equipment, or failing to secure loads properly can contribute to these incidents.

Confined Space Hazards

Near misses involving confined spaces, such as tanks, silos, or tunnels, pose unique risks due to limited access and potential atmospheric hazards. Inadequate ventilation, lack of proper permits, or failure to implement confined space entry procedures can lead to these dangerous incidents.

Conclusion

By recognizing and addressing these common near misses, construction and engineering companies can implement proactive safety measures to prevent accidents and protect their workers. Emphasizing comprehensive safety training, regular hazard assessments, and effective communication among workers are essential steps in creating a safer work environment. Additionally, fostering a culture where near misses are reported, investigated, and used to improve safety practices can help ensure continuous improvement in safety performance. Ultimately, prioritizing safety not only protects workers but also enhances project efficiency and contributes to the long-term success of construction and engineering projects.

If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to monitor near misses and incidents, Falcony has you covered. You can find more information on our website or test out our 30-day free trial: 

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We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.‍

By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

More information at falcony.io.

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