Most Typical Types of Construction Site Accidents
Construction workers have both a highly dangerous and an extremely important job. Our country depends on the construction industry to build our homes, our nation’s infrastructure, and the buildings for our companies. But the danger in this industry is very real.
Between just 2002 and 2012, 19.5% of all workplace injuries involved construction workers. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CCRT), a construction worker over the course of a 45-year career has a 75% chance of experiencing a disabling injury and a 1-in-200 chance of being killed on the job.
These are staggering numbers that reflect construction sites as a high-risk work environment. Surrounded by machinery, tools, and building materials, construction workers can find themselves facing a number of hazards at any given moment. Referred to by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as the “fatal four,” these workplace injuries are responsible for approximately 60% of construction worker deaths and thousands more injuries each year.
The leading cause of accidents and injuries in the construction industry is falls. In 2015, 38.8% of construction injury deaths were due to falls at work. These can occur from a variety of construction site hazards.
OSHA reports that as many as 2.3 million workers use scaffolding on their job sites and many aren’t using the proper protection. Not using fall protection equipment or insufficient safety training can cause serious accidents and falls from scaffolding.
Other falls occur from ladders or stairways on construction job sites. A ladder may not be properly secured, or the worker might not use the equipment correctly. Slips and trips on stairways can also cause falls and serious injury.
Injuries from falls include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, sprains and strains, internal injuries, and even death.
Electrocution injuries are the second leading cause of injury and death on construction sites. These catastrophic incidents can arise from the exposure of wires due to uncompleted electrical work, contact with overhead power lines, or contact with transformers. Other injuries occur due to contact with machinery or other tools on the job site. Injuries can include severe burns as well as internal damage and death.
Struck by Object
Approximately 8-10% of construction injury deaths each year are due to workers being struck by an object. Since construction sites nearly always require workers to operate at various levels, there are constant dangers from falling objects or items being moved such as large beams or swinging cranes. A worker could also be struck by a vehicle on the job site, such as a truck, bulldozer, or paver.
These injuries or deaths occur when some object has been thrown or hurled across the space. It could include instances when a piece of a tool or machinery separates and causes injury or when a nail from a compressed gas nail gun strikes the worker.
Common injuries include head injuries, broken bones, puncture wounds, spinal injuries, internal organ damage, and death.
Caught-In or Between
A caught-in/between accident can happen several ways on a construction site. For example, a limb could become caught in a piece of equipment or a worker could become crushed between two objects. Another common incident in this category is when someone is buried in or by hazards.
These types of accidents can often be avoided through equipment safety and procedures training. Common injuries are lacerations, broken bones, head trauma, internal bleeding, amputations, and death.
Aside from these “fatal four,” you may also experience work-related construction injuries from exposure to toxic substances, repetitive motion, explosions and fires, or overexertion.
If you or a loved one was injured in a construction site accident, you might be entitled to compensation. In most cases, claims are handled by your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance, but there could be other recoveries if there is a third-party case.
Unfortunately, worker’s compensation claims aren’t always immediately approved, and you could be offered much less than you deserve. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Alabama construction site accident attorney.
Contact the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, L.L.C. in Mobile at (251) 473-6691 to schedule a free consultation or contact us utilizing our online contact form.