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Construction injuries spurred by communication failures

A failure to communicate properly on a construction site can lead to serious injuries and accidents.

For example, workers at heights may not listen when told how to secure their tools. They do it improperly and then a tool falls and strikes a worker below; he or she is taken to the hospital with a head injury. Or, workers are not told when heavy equipment is going to be operating in a certain area. The operator thinks the area is clear and accidentally strikes two of the workers, killing one and sending the other to the hospital.

Why does miscommunication happen when the results are so dire? A few potential reasons include:

  • Everyone is rushing, trying to get a job done quickly. More errors may happen as deadlines draw close.
  • Workers have questions but they don't feel like they can ask them. The company doesn't have an open culture where questions are allowed.
  • Workers are never given time to voice concerns or ask questions.
  • The work site is too loud with all of the machinery, and workers can't hear. Some believe information has been properly relayed when it has not.
  • Workers and employers have personal conflicts. They don't like each other, so they don't communicate like they should.

These are just a few examples, but they can all contribute to an unsafe working environment. When this leads to accidents and injuries, it's important for those who are hurt to know what right they have. Injuries could lead to high medical bills and lost wages if the workers aren't able to return to the job.

Source: Jobsite, "Communication Failures on a Construction Jobsite," Jody Pellerin, accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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