Risks to construction workers include occupational hazards and accidents. There is particular vulnerability to accidents in this industry because turnover at very high levels does not allow for proper safety training or thorough implementation of safety procedures. Work with dangerous machines, with heavy loads in constant movement, and work in inclement outdoor weather, provide numerous opportunities for accidents. Occupational hazards include: noise; vibration; heat exhaustion; exposure to ultraviolet radiation from welding processes; lung diseases arising from cement and concrete dusts; and skin irritations, allergies and toxic reactions due to a variety of chemical hazards on the construction sites.
2005 data shows that in the construction industry, at least 60,000 fatal workplace accidents occur each year worldwide - or about one death every 10 minutes. About 17 per cent of all fatal workplace accidents occur in this sector, while construction workers also face a number of health risks, including exposure to asbestos-laden dusts, silica and hazardous chemicals.