According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1 in 5 deaths among workers in the United States is in the construction industry. Not only does it affect those working on-site and their families, but also those making deliveries and those merely just passing by the site. These are 8 of the most common construction site accidents:
Common Construction Site Accidents
1. Falls from High Heights
Falls are the most common type of injury on a construction site. Many construction workers are required to perform their work on raised surfaces. Falling from scaffoldings, rooftops, ladders, cranes, or heavy machinery can potentially lead to serious injuries. Construction accidents related to falls may be caused by faulty equipment, insufficient safety training, or a lack of proper warning procedures.
Until the construction is complete, workers might have to work near or on a power source with electrical equipment. There may be overhead exposed electrical wires, downed power lines, and unfinished electrical systems, all creating risks of electrocution for construction workers.
3. Slips and Falls
Construction sites often have excess materials, tools, debris, defects, broken stairs, poor lighting, and grease on floors which are all factors that can contribute to an injury. These kinds of conditions can cause broken legs, sprained ankles, lacerations, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or—in extreme cases, death.
4. Falling Debris, Materials, or Objects
Construction sites are known to be busy areas, with many workers performing different tasks. Building materials, tools, or other supplies falling from a significant height and falling on a worker or someone simply passing by can do severe damage.
5. Fires and Explosions
There are numerous conditions on construction sites that can lead to fires or explosions, including gas leaks, electrical issues, equipment malfunction, and improper handling of materials that are flammable. Fires and explosions can cause illnesses related to smoke inhalation, lung problems, and death. These situations often happen unexpectedly and can be deadly.
6. Overexertion / Lifting and Moving Materials
Overexertion can take many forms including back injuries, repetitive strain injuries, forceful exertion injuries, and equipment injuries. Construction workers usually work long hours and/or in extreme conditions: from heat and humidity to frigid temperatures. Heat stress may cause overexertion injuries due to dehydration or dizziness.
7. Trenchwork Collapse
On many building sites, construction workers may need to dig trenches up to 15 feet wide. Workers who dig trenches can be vulnerable because the ground can be unstable which can lead to a trench collapsing on those working in or near the trench.
8. Machinery Accidents
Construction sites are known for regularly operating large and/or dangerous machinery, including cranes, bulldozers, jackhammers, and more; they also use smaller power tools such as drills and nail guns. All these types of equipment need to be maintained and operated under supervision. When employees are not trained, safety precautions are ignored, or when the equipment is not inspected regularly, it could lead to dangerous or even fatal accidents.
Falls are the most common type of construction site accident
What you Can Do
If you are seriously injured in a construction site accident you have three basic legal options:
Product liability is a type of personal injury law that gives consumers a legal course of action. If a construction worker claims that their injury has resulted from a defective piece of construction equipment or material, product liability can bring a lawsuit against anyone in the chain of production, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The three main types of product defects include:
- Design Defects
- Manufacturing Defects
- Warning Defects
The Work Injury Compensation Act provides benefits to injured or sick employees that were caused by their job. If an injury or illness occurs due to work, construction workers should not have to worry about the costs of medical bills and lost income. Employers should be responsible for securing worker’s compensation insurance so that it can provide adequate benefits and medical coverage for any injuries resulting from injury at work. Work Injury Compensation Act covers
- Medical Expenses
- Wage Replacement Benefits
- Death Benefits for Dependents
Personal Injury lawsuit cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers from an accident or injury, including physical, mental, and financial losses. There are four basic elements of recovery for injury and related losses including:
- Medical and Related Expenses
- Reimbursement of Pay Loos
- Pain and Suffering Losses
- Ongoing Symptoms or Limitation Resulted from an Injury