Years ago I spend some time in the construction industry, but most of my career has been in transportation. In both industries the emphasis is always "Safety First". While no one goes to work planning to get hurt, It happens frequently and most accidents, from slips, trips and falls to serious injuries are largely avoidable and/or preventable.
Causes of injuries: If you can imagine something could cause an injury...it has probably occurred. So I'll give you a list of some of the most common causes that I have encountered over the years.
Attitude is number one. When you go to a work site you have to understand that the construction environment is inherently dangerous. There are hazards everywhere and you must understand that to remain safe, your mindset is your primary source of protection. Taking work seriously is essential for your personal safety and for the safety of those working around or with you. A good attitude for work helps keep you safe...just as a bad attitude will facilitate poor behaviors which lead to injuries. Working safely is generally considered a condition of employment. If your mind is not fully engaged in the activities you are doing you are working dangerously.
Rushing to "get the job done" as opposed to "how to properly do the job" certainly contributes to injuries. This includes having the right equipment, the knowledge of how to use the equipment, a job briefing so everyone has a common understanding of how the job is to be done, how everyone will work together, what safety issues are embedded in the work and how to minimize exposure to safety hazards. There is a good reason why there are construction drawings...They allow people to build things as they were designed. Planning the work allows the actual builders to safely coordinate activities with others on the construction site. There is never enough time to do things right, but always time to do them over. Do it right and safely every time.
Failure to use the right tool for the right job......sounds ridiculous but you see it all the time. Using a bigger hammer or a pry bar to force things together that should fit is not a good strategy. If the task you are attempting takes more effort than you can safely exert, ask your supervisor, get the right tool, or get help. Overexertion is often a cause for strains, soft tissue injuries, cuts and bruises.....sometimes much worse.
Failure to observe what is going on around you:..When one person on a site is "cutting corners" , he/she puts others as well as him/her self at risk. If no one says anything, there are sometimes safeguards sufficient to preclude a serious injury, when two people are not working properly there is a good chance and accident will occur. If a third person is not working safely in that same area you have all the ingredients for a serious incident. If you see something being done that is unsafe, that jeopardizes the person doing it or others, you have to say or do something. You can't walk by it. Ignoring minor incidents.....allows major injuries to occur.
Not wearing proper protective equipment....Hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, appropriate foot gear and/or protective clothing, if required, contribute to your personal safety. The requirements for these things usually has come because someone was injured. After someone is injured, people tend to forget what circumstances lead to the injury but we know that Personal Protection Equipment, not utilized, makes you an accident ready to happen.
Peer Pressure: If you don't know how to do something, if you don't feel confident in performing a task or if it is beyond your physical or mental ability, ask for help before attempting to "give it a shot. Do NOT give in to people telling you to do something that you KNOW is unsafe for YOU! The people who encourage you to do unsafe acts are not looking out for you......If it happens to be your boss, you're working for the wrong company.
I'm pleased that you are interested in the causes of accidents. Too many people fail to understand how things happen until after an incident occurs. The primary person who is responsible for your safety is YOU. Construction is a rewarding occupation. You get to see the progress every day, its a team environment and you get to work with many different people. Work safely always and I wish you great success in your endeavors.