You may see them working on the road on your way to work. They may be working with you to build your dream home. Or, you may be related to one. Either way, construction workers are a vital part of our society. These important workers put their lives at risk every day to build us new roadways, bridges, buildings, and more. Construction workers face very hazardous conditions on the job. In fact, 1 in 5 construction workers reported suffering an on-the-job injury.
When business is booming in our community, corporations and citizens take advantage of the opportunities. With new opportunities, comes new residential housing and business projects; and with that, comes construction sites. Unfortunately, an increase in construction sites also means an increase in workplace accidents.
Construction injuries are all too common. Every day, construction workers are faced with a number of hazards that could lead to serious injury or even death if they are not following proper safety protocols. Over 60% of construction workers do not receive adequate safety training.
Types of Construction Site Accidents
Though there are many hazards on the job, there are four common construction site accidents…
When building any sort of structure, it usually requires a ladder or scaffolding to reach higher places. With a construction worker above the ground, it automatically puts them at risk of falling.
Caught between objects
Heavy machinery can pose several problems. Sometimes this machinery may get out of a worker’s control and tip over or pin a worker against things. This also may include forklift accidents if there is a machine or operator glitch.
Struck by an object
As stated above, heavy machinery can cause severe injury if it tips. Furthermore, other workers dropping objects from above, or falling planks of wood may strike a construction worker at any given moment. This also includes road accidents if a motorist on a highway exceeds the speed limit in a work zone, or vehicle accidents if a machine malfunctions and strikes a worker.
In any modern structure, electricity is a necessity. Oftentimes, workers may accidentally electrocute themselves or be electrocuted by another’s mistake.
These fatal four types of accidents were responsible for 57% of all construction worker deaths in 2012.
Along with these types of construction accidents, buildings collapses, trench collapses, and fires and explosions are also possible in a work zone.
Types of Injuries
Obvious injuries like cuts and bruises may occur on the jobsite every day. However, there are other possible more severe injuries. For instance, head injuries are common with falls or falling objects. At any given moment, a loose board may fall from scaffolding or a worker could fall from a ladder. If the worker hits their head, they are at risk for a brain injury.
For instance, in a recent case, a 20-year old worker was on a scaffold installing metal siding on a building in New York. The construction worker was asked to go onto the roof of the building to help with a different job. The worker went to the roof wearing his safety harness, but was unable to find a secure place to tie off. While on the roof, the worker fell about 20 feet to the ground. The construction worker suffered severe injuries including head injuries, spinal fractures, rib fractures, and internal injuries including a lung contusion, a lacerated spleen, renal hematoma, and cervical and lumbar disk herniations. Besides the internal injuries, the worker also developed degeneration of the brain tissue called encephalomalacia. This condition results in memory loss, motor problems, and impaired thought processing along with other cognitive functions. He remains permanently disabled at 20 years old from his injuries from this accident.
It is crucial that every single employee on a construction site is trained in the proper safety procedures as well as being provided all of the equipment needed to create a safe work environment. All foreseeable hazards should be immediately addressed or the General Contractor or Owner of the property may be liable for any accident injuries that may occur.
OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has several laws regulating construction site safety to ensure the proper prevention of on-site accidents. However, in an alarming statistic, there is only 1 OSHA investigator for every 103.899 construction workers. OSHA states it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe and clean work environment for construction workers. The administration also states that all employers as well as employees must be trained in proper safety precautions in the prevention of injury and accidents. This is, again, the employer’s responsibility. OSHA also states that all fall protection systems must be installed prior to the start of construction. This includes guardrails and safety screens and mesh.
These standards are in place to keep the safety of the employees in mind in the workplace. It is easy to forget a safety harness when climbing on a roof, but it is the employer’s fault if there is no place to connect the safety harness; and OSHA confirms this.
If the injury was caused by a third party such as an accident due to faulty equipment, then you may opt to seek compensation from that third party. If you were injured as a result of a fall from an elevated height, then the Owner of the property and General Contractor may be responsible for failure to create a safe work environment or provide the proper safety equipment. These may be complex cases and experienced lawyers for construction accidents are recommended.
If you are hurt in a construction accident, chances are you can no longer perform your job, which will lead to serious financial strain for you and your family. If this occurs, you should speak with an experienced Labor Law attorney to discuss accident compensation, including, but not limited to, your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other fringe benefits. You should be fully aware of all the benefits you may be entitled to.
If the unfortunate occurs and you are injured on a construction site, contact an experienced New York construction accident lawyer, such as the lawyers at Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman. We can help you receive compensation for injury as well as piece of mind. As experienced construction accident lawyers, we will help you understand your case thoroughly so you can make the crucial decisions that are right for you. Contact Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman, The People’s Lawyer today.
Tags: Construction Accidents
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