10 Most Common Construction Accidents

Construction accident injuries can be catastrophic after one horrific incident on a job site or can occur over time from repetitive motions or exposure. Grossman Law Offices suggest that if you have been injured in a construction site accident, then you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Labor Code Section 218.7 of the state labor law allows workers to hold contractors and site managers liable for unsafe workplace conditions that cause injuries.

1. Burns

The American Burn Association estimates that about 486,000 burn injuries occur every year in the U.S. that require immediate medical treatment. The most common causes of burn injuries on construction sites are gas line explosions, welding accidents, chemical exposure, exposure to hot surfaces or liquids, and open flames.

2. Electrocutions

Electrocutions can lead to a host of other problems, from irregular heartbeat to brain damage, and severe burns, and can even cause the victim to lose control of their body and fall. The number one cause of electrical accidents is contact with overhead powerlines, which often result in fatalities. Electrocutions also happen when workers fail to realize that they are coming in contact with energized sources such as circuit parts, damaged wires, energized conductors, power tools, or defective electrical equipment.

3. Falls

Falls are the top cause of death among construction workers and account for one-third of all on-the-job deaths in the industry. In 2019, there were 1,102 construction fatalities, but 401 of those fatalities were due to falls. Construction workers can fall off high scaffolding, ladders, and other high structures. The fall can result in multiple broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and internal bleeding.

4. Machinery Accidents

Most of the equipment used on construction sites is dangerous. Heavy machinery is needed to build roads or transport materials. It is up to contractors and supervisors to ensure that workers are trained on the proper use of these machines. Unfortunately, accidents can happen due to a lack of training or due to machinery malfunctions.

5. Slips and Trips

Construction workers can fall even on the ground level. Wet gravel, mud, and other slippery surfaces can lead to slips and falls, resulting in broken bones, head injuries, and back injuries. Other common causes of slips and trips are debris, ramps without skid-resistant or slip-resistant surfaces, clutter, sloped walking surfaces, scaffolding that isn’t structured properly, and unanchored flooring.

6. Trapped or Pinched Accidents

Trenches at an excavation site must be properly supported to prevent them from crumbling. Workers can become squeezed, caught, pinched, or pressed between two objects or under a collapsed building or trench. Heavy machinery that is not being used properly can tip over and trap workers or can knock over important structures. Scaffolds that are not constructed properly can collapse and trap workers.

7. Trench or Ground Collapse

Construction workers need to dig foundations and run underground utilities before a building can be constructed. This puts them at risk of cave-ins and collapses. When employees are excavating a worksite, they must be protected by trench boxes, in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Partial structure collapses, roof cave-ins, foundation failures, and shifting piles of materials in mud or under heavy rain or snow are all types of accidents that site managers should take the necessary precautions to prevent.

8. Falling Debris

Falling debris can cause head, back, shoulder, and neck injuries when it falls from scaffolding or a ladder above, hitting a worker below. Tools and electrical cords hanging over scaffolding can fall, or they can fall through cracks in loose boards. OSHA requires that protections are in place to prevent tools and other objects from falling from great heights. Construction workers should be provided with hard hats and other safety equipment when working.

9. Overexertion

Repetitive motion injuries result from overexertion, especially in either very high or very low temperatures. Exertion affects the joints in the fingers, wrist, and elbow and can injure the back. Always reaching overhead or lifting objects over the head can strain the muscles in the neck and shoulders and cause rotator cuff injuries.

10. Motor Vehicle Accidents

There are different ways that motor vehicle accidents can happen on job sites. Construction on highways and streets puts workers at risk of getting hit by drivers. Workers can be hit because of poorly trained or untrained workers who are driving heavy machinery, such as a forklift. Lastly, cars that are used on construction sites are not necessarily driving on roads or may be driving on dirt roads. A vehicle can strike a worker who is walking between different parts of a construction site because they didn’t see them behind construction materials.

Call An Attorney

If you have been injured in a construction accident, then you should contact an attorney right away. They can help you with your Workers’ Compensation claim so you can recover your damages.