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Accidents at work in the building industry: how to eliminate them?

During the construction of a building, workers are very often exposed to serious or even fatal accidents at work. In France, more than 100,000 cases of fatal accidents occur each year. Nevertheless, it is possible to limit these risks of accidents at work through prevention and the use of ergonomic solutions.

Manut-LM tells you more about construction accidents and what causes them. Discover also how to solve these problems with our manual handling solutions.

Published on 31 August 2023 - Doug Gimie

The construction sector: a vast and dangerous field of activity!

The construction sector is one of the most extensive industrial sectors and includes several areas of activity.

These are:

  • From the field of civil engineering;
  • The construction of buildings and their maintenance;
  • From the field of construction.

This sector contributes to GDP growth in developed countries. For example, in Britain it accounts for almost 10% of GDP and 17% in Japan.

In developing countries, the construction sector is very dynamic. It offers employment opportunities to local people. It is therefore a profitable sector, where labour is always in demand.

Yet, despite these many advantages, the field of building construction remains one of the most dangerous in the world.

About the hazards of building construction

Some statistics on accidents at work have been compiled on the basis of data collected in several industrialized countries. The results reveal that workers in the construction sector are the most exposed to fatal accidents at work.

According to several sources of analysis, this phenomenon is likely to increase because the world in which we live is constantly developing.

Workers and labourers in the construction sector build, transport and manually unload materials in sometimes very rough places.

They are exposed to certain dangers at all times:

  • Clouds of dust;
  • Work at height;
  • High temperatures;
  • Bad postures;
  • Repetitive gestures;
  • Carrying heavy loads;
  • Difficult weather conditions;
  • The vibrations of certain machines.

The list of these potential hazards is not exhaustive. Some cause serious accidents, others can lead to death.

However, they can be avoided through ergonomic solutions and prevention.

What are the causes of occupational accidents related to the construction of buildings?

According to studies conducted by health insurance organizations, concerning work accidents in the construction industry in 2020, one in two employees was the victim of an accident on the site itself. This finding is not very surprising when we know that the places where construction work is carried out are dangerous. For this purpose, it is possible to have a report of at least one accident every five minutes.

The severity of the risks is so high in this sector that they can lead to death. According to statistics, 19% of occupational accidents in this field of activity are fatal. This figure is alarming and requires effective measures to reduce this phenomenon.

There are three main causes of work-related accidents related to the construction of buildings:

  • Manual handling work;
  • Falls from height;
  • Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Manual handling work

Manual handling work remains the leading cause of workplace accidents in the construction sector. Most of these accidents occur on construction sites.

Manual handling work causes musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), general body fatigue and other pathologies.

These pathologies occur as a result of:

  • Carrying heavy loads without interruption;
  • The transport of chemicals harmful to humans;
  • Repetitive gestures;
  • Bad postures and the use of tools that produce strong vibrations.

Falls from heights

According to the collective agreements of the BTP, falls from height or falls on one level are caused by an imbalance, a startle, a staggering or a misstep.

This can be caused by:

  • A slippery floor;
  • An obstacle that was not detected in time;
  • A very heavy or sharp tool drop;
  • Adverse weather conditions.

The degree of severity of the fall will depend on the location, the conditions in which the worker was, the tools and equipment used. For example, if the worker overloads his vertical mast truck, it may fall.

Lack of personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment (pair of gloves, glasses, etc.) are devices that the employer must make available to his employees. It protects them against the risks of accidents at work that may affect their safety or health.

In the construction sector, these devices must be worn by workers to avoid possible dangers such as:

  • Splinters of metal;
  • Projections of particles on sensitive parts such as the eyes;
  • Etc.

Eliminate workplace accidents with Manut-LM solutions!

In order to eliminate occupational accidents related to the construction of buildings, it is essential to put in place two methods:

  • Prevention;
  • And the use of ergonomic machines.


To effectively prevent workplace accidents that occur on construction sites, the employer and his operators must focus on prevention.

To do this, they must carry out certain actions:

  • The employer must raise awareness among its employees;
  • Operators must be very vigilant in the workplace to determine if necessary risks not yet detected;
  • The employer must train its operators to adopt the right actions with regard to handling;
  • The employer must provide its operators with safety devices (PPE);
  • The employer should encourage its operators to take a break from time to time to recharge their batteries;
  • Operators should check the condition of their tools before use.

The use of Manut LM ergonomic machines

In order to limit accidents at work related to the construction of buildings, employers must give priority to the use of ergonomic equipment. In this regard, they must call on a professional in the sector.

Work in the construction sector mainly revolves around manual handling, which is why the use of ergonomic machines for handling loads is essential.

If your activity is part of the construction industry, then our Manut-LM ergonomic solutions are for you! These will effectively assist your employees in their manual handling work. This will put an end to accidents at work and occupational diseases such as MSDs.

In the end, construction work is very risky. The majority of workplace accidents on a construction site are caused by several factors, first and foremost the negligence of certain employers. That is why the causes of accidents must be controlled and limited by implementing preventive measures.

Contact our Manut-LM experts now
and benefit from efficient solutions that will allow you to maximize the productivity of your operators while ensuring their safety.

What are the main causes of occupational accidents in the construction industry?

The main causes of work accidents in the construction industry are:

  • The use of equipment in poor condition;
  • Manual handling work;
  • And falls from height.
What are the most dangerous conditions in a construction site?

The most dangerous conditions in a construction site are:

  • Uneven terrain;
  • A slippery floor;
  • Improper handling of very heavy or sharp tools;
  • Adverse weather conditions.
What is personal protective equipment used for?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) allows workers to protect themselves when performing hazardous work.

What should an employer do to protect its manual handling workers?

To protect its manual handling workers, the employer must put in place effective preventive measures. It must also invest in the purchase of ergonomic manual handling tools.

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