Skip to Content

News & Resources

Research Shows Construction Workers Have Trouble Identifying Safety Hazards

10/15/2013 | Construction Blog

Safety is job one for most construction companies, as employees that go home each night come back the next day for work. Great emphasis is often placed on safety protocols and how to address work site hazards. A new study done by the Construction Industry Institute raises an important question though: are workers as prepared as they should be to identify job site risks?

Many construction companies focus their safety training on minimizing known safety hazards. Less time is spent training people how to identify the hazard in the first place. Using research done by others and their own field testing, the Construction Industry Institute concluded that workers generally cannot even spot half of the jobsite dangers they might encounter on their own.

The field tests revealed that workers only identified about 27% of all hazards on the job site without any aid. When formal protocols or assistance was provided, the number jumped to nearly 80%. The researchers concluded that hazard awareness is a major problem. Research suggests that workers are generally adept at dealing with the hazard once they know it exists. The problem lies with their inability to even determine there is a risk.

The explanations for an inability to identify work site hazards are numerous. They include lack of knowledge, inattention to detail, being in a hurry, and others. Employers and employees alike should place more emphasis on how to identify hazards on a job site though. If you don’t know you have a problem, you can’t take any steps to address it.