American work injuries cost a total of $167 billion in 2021, according to the National Safety Council. Among the various types of accidents that occur, vehicle accidents are alarmingly common.
These incidents occur because of several factors that need careful attention to ensure worksite safety.
One primary cause of vehicle accidents on worksites is inadequate training. Workers who operate forklifts, bulldozers and trucks require comprehensive training to navigate the unique challenges posed by a worksite. When employers fail to provide this training, employees may struggle to control these machines effectively and cause an accident.
Failure to communicate clearly
Effective communication is important on worksites. When workers and equipment operators fail to communicate clearly, accidents are more likely to happen.
For instance, a worker may unknowingly step into the path of an oncoming vehicle due to miscommunication or lack of signaling. Proper communication protocols and signals can significantly reduce the risk of such incidents.
Speeding and recklessness
Reckless driving within worksites is a dangerous behavior that frequently leads to accidents. Workers who feel tired may want to complete tasks quickly, leading them to disregard speed limits and safety guidelines.
Consequently, they put themselves and their colleagues at risk. Enforcing speed limits and disciplining reckless behavior is important in preventing accidents.
Lack of maintenance
Another often overlooked cause of worksite vehicle accidents is inadequate maintenance of vehicles and equipment. Faulty brakes, worn-out tires or malfunctioning lights can compromise the safety of both the operator and others on the site. Regular maintenance checks and prompt repairs are important to prevent accidents stemming from mechanical failures.
Limited visibility is a significant challenge on many worksites. Dust, debris and blind spots can obstruct an operator’s view, making it difficult to spot pedestrians and other vehicles. Utilizing safety equipment like mirrors, cameras and warning systems can enhance visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.
Poor traffic control
Worksites are bustling environments with various vehicles moving in different directions. Without proper traffic control measures, chaos can ensue. Establishing designated traffic lanes, signage and clear right-of-way rules can mitigate this risk.
Vehicle accidents at work may come out of nowhere. Dealing with an injury after an accident at work can leave you feeling frustrated and in pain, especially if it harms your ability to walk or move around.