Falls, Misused Equipment and Lack of Training: Be Aware of These Top 10 Construction Hazards

March 22, 2022

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released the 10 most frequently cited violations list in late 2021, including the top-cited hazards identified in the construction industry across the U.S.

The named construction hazards range in subject matter but have many overarching themes. By becoming aware of the most frequent hazards and their causes, business owners in the construction industry can take proactive measures to make their workplaces safer in 2022 and beyond.

  1. Fall Protection – Strength and Structural Integrity (4,279 citations)
    Once again ranked the top hazard, according to OSHA, this category includes dangers related to unprotected sides and edges, hoist areas, surface holes, ramps and walkways, and more.
  2. Ladders (1,602 citations)
    Notably, ladder injuries which includes both job-made and portable ladders and their rungs, cleats and steps – moved up in the hazard ranking over 2020.
  3. Scaffold Requirements (1,468 citations)
    This ranking includes direct connections to roofs and floors, suspension ropes, design safety, platforms, and more. Note, aerial lifts are excluded from this scaffold category; see #8 below.
  4. Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1,356 citations)
    Fall protection training can be enhanced and reinforced with memorable content experienced in a safe virtual reality setting, with courses including fall prevention and ladder safety. Learn More
  5. Personal Protective and Life-Saving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection (1,209 citations)
    Workplace eye injuries cost approximately $300 million annually in lost productivity, medical services and workers’ compensation claims, according to OSHA.
  6. Personal Protective and Life-Saving Equipment – Head Protection (651 citations)This category is related to employers’ responsibility to ensure that workers at risk of a head injury from impact, falling/flying objects, electrical shock or burns have proper head protection.
  1. General Safety and Health Provisions (648 citations)
    Conditions that are deemed unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employee health make this a top hazard. This includes tools and machinery that are not in compliance, according to OSHA.
  2. Scaffolds – Aerial Lifts (436 citations)
    Aerial lifts in OSHA’s list include vehicle-mounted aerial devices used to elevate personnel to jobsites above ground: boom platforms, aerial ladders, vertical towers, and aerial equipment.
  3. Excavation Requirements (391 citations)
    This category refers to safety requirements within specific excavation regulations, including surface encumbrances and underground installations, to help safeguard employees.
  4. Fall Protection – Systems Criteria and Practices (343 citations)
    As another top item related to fall protection, this criterion refers to systems required for employees, including guardrail systems, edge-of-height rails, mesh and screens, and more.

Learn more about notable construction hazards: Four Construction Accidents that Shook the World