search
top

Major Causes of Injuries in Construction Sites

Based on the 2013 record of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, working environments accounted for 4,405 deaths; 796 of these deaths were in construction sites, with the top four causes being: slips, trips, and falls; getting struck by a heavy or moving object; electrocution; and, being caught between objects. These causes are known in the construction industry as the “Fatal Four.”

When it comes to job-related accidents, industrial workers, particularly, construction workers, are the ones at the greatest risk. This is due to the heavy tools and equipment, and hazardous substances used in construction sites. Not to forget, the great heights that construction workers often need to ascend when performing their job.

Before 1971, and especially during the turn of the 20th century, construction workers who got involved in accidents during the performance of their work had to suffer the consequences of their misfortune alone. This is because employers usually reasoned out that danger was always associated with the work. Injured workers then had to resort to filing a lawsuit against their employers just to receive compensation, which would help them pay the costly medical treatment and which was supposed to cover the wages they would lose due to inability to work (for days, some for weeks or months). Some got paid, with a meager amount, but whether one got paid or not, one consequence of the lawsuit was certain – a destroyed relationship between worker and employer.

Falls, which account for about 40 % of all construction site injuries and deaths, are frequently due to poorly maintained or assembled scaffolding and work platforms, elevated surfaces or uneven floors, improper use of ladders, unnoticeable ramps and excavations, unprotected sides and edges, overhanging steel bars, lack of training on observance and strict implementation of safety measures, lack of protective gear and/or equipment, and so forth.

Being struck by a heavy or moving object is the next leading cause of injuries and deaths in construction sites. Getting hit by falling tools or construction vehicles are examples of this, while resulting injuries can include injuries to the head and/or neck, brain injury, back injury, etc.

The third most common cause of harm among construction site workers is electrocution. Damaged high voltage wires and lack of ground fault can cause severe injuries (or even death) to unsuspecting workers, many of whom have suffered serious burns, disfigurement or limb amputation.

Disfigurement or a limb getting amputated is also common when a worker gets caught or wedged between heavy or sharp objects, resulting to injuries that require days away from work. Some injuries are also severe enough to leave a worker disabled and unable to work again.

The many different harmful dangers that construction workers face every day is why failure to comply with safety and health standards that result to lack of employee protection against accident hazards or illness is a violation of the OSHA mandate to which an employer can be held totally liable.

The Goings Law Firm, LLC says “the construction industry can place both workers and anyone who passes by construction sites at risk of suffering serious injuries or harm. The nature of construction sites means that people are often in close proximity to large, dangerous equipment, hazardous substances, and unstable sites, which can cause life-altering physical harm or even death when proper precautions are not taken. Whether the injury was caused by someone’s negligence or while you were on the job at a construction site, the law may provide you and your family compensation for your injuries.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

top