Common building site injuries and how to prevent them

Common injuries on building sites – and how to prevent them

Posted on 20th Apr, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

Building sites can be dangerous places to work – especially if you have poor understanding of health and safety policies and procedures and fail to use access equipment properly.

The conditions of a building site, coupled with the equipment and material used on the job increase the risks of workplace injury.

What’s more, the type of injury is often more serious than that experienced in other workplaces and can be life altering.

Managing risks on building sites


Falls from a height are still one of the most common causes of injury on a building site. Making up a third of fatalities, poorly set up equipment is often the cause.

Safety tip: Check all equipment is safe and in good working order before using it. All scaffold erection must also be overseen and checked by a competent and correctly trained person. If required, do make sure you wear the relevant harnesses to keep you safe too.

Recommended courses: Working at Height Training; In House Safe Use & Pre-Use Inspection of Harnesses & Lanyards; Nationally Recognised Accredited Scaffold Towers

Falling objects

With lots of kit to use it’s no surprise that heavy tools and equipment sometimes fall from above – injuring workers and potentially even passers by.

Safety tip: Make sure all sites are correctly fenced off to protect members of the public. Ensure that all on site are wearing the proper PPE – for example, hard hats, and that tools are secured properly rather than left lying around.

Recommended courses: Working at Heights Training; Emergency First Aid

Strain injuries

Whether you’re struggling to reach from the access equipment you’re using or you’re lifting object incorrectly – or objects that are too heavy for you – back injuries and exertion injuries are common causes of sick leave.

Safety tip: Make sure the access equipment you are using is set up correctly and suitable for your height and weight. If you feel uncomfortable, let your employer know and do not work from equipment unless you feel safe. Always make sure that you practise safe lifting too to prevent back injuries.

Recommended course: Manual Handling

Dangerous machinery

If you’ve been given unsuitable materials or access equipment for your task, you may be at risk of injury. It’s your employer’s responsibility to make sure that you have the correct equipment and that you’ve been fully trained in how to use it correctly.

Safety tip: Only use equipment you’ve been trained to use. Also ensure that the equipment you’re using is in good working order. If there are any dents or problems with any of its features you should not be using it.

Recommended course: Any course relevant to the equipment you may be using on site

To discover our whole range of safety training courses visit our webpage. You’ll find a wide variety of courses available, many of which will be suited to your trade. For further information about any of the courses, or to book on to one of them, please contact the Browns Ladders team on 01282 615 517

Have you ever had an accident on a building site? Share your story with us in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

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