Common Construction Site Accidents and the Injuries that Follow
Construction sites can be a dangerous place for even the most careful and well-trained employees. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that out of the 4,764 fatal work injuries in 2020, workers in transportation and material moving occupations and construction and extraction occupations accounted for nearly half of all fatal occupational injuries (47.4 percent), representing 1,282 and 976 workplace deaths, respectively. These are some of the most common hazards which may lead to accidents and resulting injuries that can occur on construction sites.
Slips and Falls
Slips and falls are some of the most common accidents on a construction site. These sites often have materials, tools, debris, spillages of slippery substances, or other things which may lay scattered on the ground impeding walkways around the site. Since some construction jobs require work from great heights, such as scaffolding, rooftops, and employing the use of ladders, these falls can lead to very severe injuries.
Falling Tools, Materials, and Debris
On these multi-level construction jobs, along with the risk of a worker falling from the high heights, other concerns include falling tools, building materials, scaffolding pieces, and other supplies. These objects of dropped from high height can cause serious damage to anything they may come into contact with on their path to the ground. Falling objects is a situation where the risk also extends to passersby who may not be involved in the construction, but are headed to a different destination which requires passing through, by, or under the job site.
Electrocutions, Explosions, and Fires
Another high accident risk on construction sites are electrocutions, explosions, and fires. Since electrical work is necessary for the majority of commercial and residential buildings being constructed, exposed wires, unfished electrical systems, and downed power lines have a high risk for causing serious injury if handled improperly. Contact with these wires or systems may cause electrocutions and burns. There is an explosion risk when there are exposed wires combined with gas leaks, which may happen when gas lines and electrical work are being installed in tandem.
Heavy Machinery and Tools, Misuse and Malfunctions
Since construction jobs often require the use of heavy tools and machinery, there is a risk that one of these can lead to serious injury. There is a risk that either a worker could use the tool incorrectly, and even if there is no incorrect use these tools and machines have the potential to malfunction much like all other forms of technology. Some of the potentially dangerous machinery could be tools such as jackhammers, cranes, bulldozers, or even smaller power tools like nail guns and drills. Heavy machinery used to dig out or clear areas during excavation or demolition jobs can cause the ground to become unstable which may lead to a collapse causing injuries to those workers or passersby which may not be able to leave the area in time.
Overexertion and Car Accidents
Unrelated to anything present on the worksite, other hazards that construction workers face are vehicles driving at high speeds by construction sites which lead to a risk in high speed and potentially life threatening car accident injuries, and overexertion from the extreme elements that often times goes hand in hand with summer construction. Extreme heat and strenuous work can lead to dehydration, fainting spells, or even heat stroke. Although these two hazards may be things that are not typically considered in the area of hazards on a construction site, they have proved to be just as dangerous.
If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury in a construction site accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. It is important to consult with a lawyer early to investigate your options and preserve crucial evidence. For assistance with these matters, please contact us to learn more.
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About the author: Peter J. Gregory is a partner with MCCM Personal Injury Lawyers in Rochester, NY. He is a trial lawyer with extensive experience resolving disputes in state and federal trial courts. As a personal injury lawyer, Gregory focuses on advising clients who have been injured or lost loved ones in accidents caused by the carelessness or recklessness of others. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 512-3506.
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