Heavy Equipment

Any construction site utilizing heavy equipment poses a degree of risk to employees and operators alike. A construction site has many hazards that can bring bodily harm to those located in the area. It is important to understand most accidents are preventable. While working with or near heavy construction machines such as excavators, it’s important to minimize the potential risks involved. It can be as easy as performing regular maintenance on the appliances and ensuring a proper code of conduct when operating or standing near them.

Types of accidents involving construction sites include:

  • Excavator rollovers
  • Falling off Excavators
  • Ejections
  • Falling Debris
  • Electrocutions

An excellent place to keep up to date with records of accidents is to reference none other than OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). This organization keeps up-to-date records on the dangerous happenings in an occupational work site and can illustrate the risks involved in construction. Referencing OSHA’s reports in 2017 features the highest number of fatalities and accidents within the construction worksite.

The most common accidents within a construction site are classified as “struck by,” which entails heavy machinery or debris striking an ill-positioned operator or bystander. The next most common category of accidents includes “Crushes or Pins,” where an individual finds themselves crushed or pinned by heavy amounts of debris or machinery due to radical factors.

Another effective way to ensure you’re keeping up with the latest risks involved in a construction venture is to reference the CPWR (Formally Center to Protect Workers Rights), now being Center for Construction Research and Training. This organization actively debates the relevance of new and old fatalities risks and accidents that could harm individuals.

More Examples of Fatal Accidents When Working with Heavy Construction Vehicles Rollovers

Another example of a fatal construction accident involves a piece of heavy equipment rolling over onto nearby personnel. This hazard is caused by improper vehicle and equipment positioning. As a result, when force is applied to surrounding equipment, the energy gets dispersed to the equipment, thus making involuntarily rollover possible.
Rollovers, in this case, can be avoided by properly positioning machinery around the work site. Conducting work on an unorganized worksite can result in accidents. Ensure your operators and any personnel on-site have acknowledged the risks involved and a system is in place to avoid such accidents.

Falling Debris

Within the same category as rollover accidents, comes falling debris. Falling debris is found chiefly in agricultural sub-industries of construction. In this industry, falling debris is one of the most common accidents, and operators and personnel should feature a system to avoid these accidents.

Operators in heavy construction vehicles tasked with removing or cutting debris are not always equipped with the feature of looking straight up as the cabin roof will be blocking the view to the outside. Accidents have been reported when operators were struck and killed by a falling tree when the tree fell onto the cabin of the excavator they were operating.


Accidents in the workplace are preventable. Educating all personnel on the worksite is essential to avoid these risks and hazards. The goal should be to practice organization and communication to minimize the risk of anyone being put in harm’s way, including operators and pedestrians.

We’ve covered some of the most prevalent risks and accidents in the construction industry and sub-industries. If you want to keep up to date on the risks involved with construction or other sectors, keep an eye out for these two organizations, CPWR and OSHA, that take complete records of fatalities and hazards that have already occurred. These records can hopefully educate future operators and personnel about the risks involved with doing this line of work and ultimately make for a safer work environment.

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