Being a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs and is very physically demanding. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), out of the 3.3 million cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2009, more than 9% was experienced by constructions workers. Construction sites are a risky place to work in; oftentimes workers are required to operate powerful machinery, climb high scaffoldings, or work on roadside construction. Falling debris is also a concern, especially in tall structures where a small object that falls can cause severe damage.
There are many ways that a construction worker can get injured while on the job. Some of them are quite obvious and are easy to avoid, especially if the construction site follows all of the safety regulations and guidelines to protect their workers, however, there will be times when accidents at a construction site can happen. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a branch of the government responsible for ensuring that workplaces are safe, has identified the following causes for construction site injuries:
1. Falls. – Construction workers often work at great heights and could suffer injuries when they fall. Workers are at risk to fall from scaffoldings, roofs, cranes, ladders and other high places. They can also suffer injuries if they fall into a hole or a ditch within the construction site.
2. The collapse of trench or building. – Probably the most fatal accident that could happen on a construction site, a trench or structure collapsing can cause severe injury or even death. Workers who are inside a collapsed trench can suffer from oxygen deprivation or could be buried inside.
3. Breakdown of scaffolding. – Although there are strict guidelines and rules for scaffolding safety issued by OSHA to construction sites, there may be times when scaffoldings break. In instances like this, the injury could be devastating.
4. Electricity-related injury. – Building construction involves a lot of tools and machinery that requires electricity. Generators are also often included as well as putting in the power into the structure being built. With all these things that are going on at a construction site, the chances of getting electrocuted or suffering from electrical burns are quite high.
5. Incorrect or insufficient safety gears. – Construction sites have strict rules when it comes to wearing safety or protective gears. Hard hats, safety glasses, safety vests, and respiratory protection are some of the gears that should be worn whenever you work on a construction site. However, these things do not necessarily mean that a worker will not get injured, especially if they are not used correctly. Injury to the brain or spine can still happen when an object falls on your head even if you’re wearing a hard hat, so it’s best to always be cautious.
6. Overexertion. – Construction work is very physically demanding, and muscles and joints can get damaged, especially because of repetitive motions or having to carry a heavy object. Heat stroke can also be a problem, particularly for workers who are exposed to the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
Workers’ compensation can help with injuries suffered while on a construction site, but you can also file for personal injury claims when a third party’s negligence resulted in your injury. An example of this is when a defective machine or tool caused your injury; you may be able to file a third-party claim with the manufacturer of the tool.
Involved in construction site accident? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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