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common construction site injuries

common construction site injuries

What Are Common Construction Site Injuries

Needless to say, construction sites are dangerous places. Obviously, the work is very physical. Additionally, construction workers often use powerful machinery or work on roadsides where motor vehicle accidents can occur . Unfortunately, because of the inherent nature of the work, there are several common construction site injuries that occur.

There are several common construction site injuries we see. They include:

  • Eye injuries
  • Neck, shoulder and back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Chemical exposure illnesses
  • Brain and head injuries; traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Lastly, falls or heavy machinery accidents can kill construction workers.

Of course, there are many standards and safety precautions to help prevent injuries. However, not all dangerous scenarios can be avoided. As a result, accidents still happen all the time on construction sites. This results in thousands of injuries every year on construction sites across the country.

What Types of Accidents Occur in the Construction Industry?

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the top causes of injuries on a construction site.

In fact, there are four categories of construction site accidents that happen frequently. They are called “the fatal four” because they often cause serious injuries:

  • Falling (the most common construction site accident)
  • Electrocution or arc flash/blast from power lines or exposed wires
  • Getting caught in equipment or machinery
  • An object striking a worker

Certainly, these construction site accidents are often life-threatening. However, there are other construction site accidents that are not as serious. But they still occur frequently:

Machinery Accidents

Much of the equipment used on a job site is hazardous. For example, construction workers use extremely heavy machinery to lift steel beams, heavy generators or excavate soil.

Certainly, tasks like that are necessary to erect a building or bridge, make a road, etc. Most contractors make sure they adequately train their workers on the heavy equipment they use. Unfortunately, though, training cannot prevent all mistakes and accidents. Unfortunately, sometimes a person who is inexperienced and/or not properly trained uses machinery and hurts a co-worker.

Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles

Road and bridge construction projects abound across the country. Therefore, workers reroute traffic to accommodate fewer lanes and limited access.

Large construction vehicles enter and exit roadways at temporary exits/entrances. Passing vehicles are unaware or simply not paying attention.

And a collision occurs.

Slip and Falls

Of course, construction sites are naturally disheveled places. As a result, certain areas present tripping or falling hazards to workers and visitors to the site.

Ground/Trench Collapses

When excavating for a new building, the surrounding earth can become unstable because of the excavation. Unfortunately, the ground can collapse with ease, carrying workers with it. The collapse can cut off workers’ air supply.

In addition, a ground collapse can bury workers alive and/or cause crushing injuries.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries occur in nearly any line of work. However, given the nature of construction work, there can be larger-scale repetitive motion injuries. This is true of the back.

Collapsed scaffolding

OSHA has strict rules regarding the use of scaffolding. Nevertheless, things can still go wrong, causing a worker to fall and sustain a serious injury.

Failure to use protective gear

Hardhats, safety glasses and other personal protective equipment (PPE) protect workers from sparks from torches, falling objects, etc.

What to Do If You’re Injured on a Construction Site

If a construction site accident injures you, there are several steps you should take you should take:

  • If you believe you have a back or head injury, do not move. Seek emergency medical care.
  • For less serious injuries, immediately get medical care. Either call an ambulance or determine who can take you to the hospital.
  • If you can, take photos of what caused your injuries.
  • Report the accident to your supervisor. Of course, give straightforward details about what occurred. However, make it brief.
  • Get a construction site accident attorney. This protects you against predatory behavior from insurance companies or corporate representatives.

Workers’ Compensation

In most states, workers’ compensation laws do not allow an employee to sue his/her employer for work-related injuries. The laws limit them to the filing of workers’ compensation claims.

In fact, employees receive workers’ compensation insurance provided by their employer’s insurance company. Moreover, most states require employers to carry that insurance protection.

Indeed, these benefits are available to an employee even if the employee’s own negligence caused his injury.

As a result, all the worker has to do is show the injury occurred while he was working.

Injured employees may receive workers’ compensation benefits, which include weekly payments and money for medical expenses. Payments are based on a percentage of the worker’s weekly earnings. Additionally, the compensation award also considers the severity of the disability.

Lastly, a temporary total disability or a permanent partial disability status can affect the total amount of compensation received.

Unfortunately, workers’ comp law limits an injured worker’s recovery to money for medical bills, lost income, and disability. Workers’ comp awards do not include compensation for pain and suffering associated with the injury.

In addition, reimbursements for medical bills only cover treatments deemed necessary and related to the specific work injury.

Third-Party Liability

A third party, like a subcontractor, could be sued if they cause an accident. For instance, if a sub-contractor negligently operates a crane that injures someone, the worker can sue that sub-contractor in court.

Of course, the injured worker can still file a workers’ comp claim.

As another example, a sub-contractor’s worker could negligently drop a tool which strikes and injures someone on the ground. They could sue the sub-contractor for not properly securing their worksite.

In short, property owners and others can all be held liable for accidents if they did not provide required work safety measures.

Moreover, property owners, general contractors and subcontractors must ensure a construction site is reasonably safe. Consequently, if they fail to do so, a construction worker may bring a claim for negligence for his or her injuries.

Specifically, site contractors and subcontractors must warn of potential hazards on the site and make sure their workers use caution while working.

In addition, they must coordinate job safety and check that workers and contractors follow all safety specifications on the site.

Likewise, manufacturers of construction equipment must design and maintaining safe products. As a result, injured parties can sue equipment manufacturers if an accident occurs because of a defect in one of their products.

If a Construction Site Accident Injured You, You Need a Construction Site Accident Lawyer

If a construction site accident injures you, you may have common construction site accident injuries. If so, you need an experienced construction site accident attorney.

We will investigate the circumstances that led to your construction site accident. We will identify and name the people, contractors or other parties responsible for your injuries.

Also, we’ll explain your legal rights and your options.

Additionally, we’ll file a workers’ compensation claim on your behalf.

Moreover, if any third parties caused the accident, we will pursue them for compensation for you.

And if the insurance company for the liable parties is not reasonable, we’ll sue and prepare your case for trial. Either through a negotiated settlement or a trial, we’ll get you the compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact our law firm at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.

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