Working in the construction industry can be very difficult. In addition to being physically demanding, it is dangerous. Although there are many laws regarding safety on construction sites, sometimes those laws are not followed in the interest of time and saving money.
There are quite a few ways a person can get injured on a construction site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has determined that there are four main causes of construction accidents.
Impact aka Struck-By Accidents
There is a lot of large equipment on a construction site that moves and often lifts heavy materials and debris. If a worker is not trained properly, or if a site is not managed properly, an accident can easily occur.
A struck-by accident includes heavy equipment hitting a person, falling loads and equipment, or falling scaffoldings.
The impact of an object is determined by its size and velocity. A worker may sustain anything from bruises to a fatal blow. Struck-by accidents are the leading cause of injuries for construction workers. A construction worker has twice the chance of being in this kind of accident than any other kind of construction accident.
The vast majority of struck-by accidents occur with falling materials and hand tools. Falling hand tools are a constant problem, which is why it is very important to have regular toolbox training sessions for employees. If a company does not provide toolbox training, it may be considered negligent.
If a construction company does not have the time or resources to create its own training, OSHA offers safety classes. Their training program details the OSHA regulations designed for construction safety. It even gives you real-life case studies and shows what caused real accidents to occur. It is important for construction workers to tether their tools to their tool belts securely so that they do not fall.
Power tools are commonly used on construction sites, and almost every construction worker will use a piece of electrical equipment during their typical day. Any construction site also requires a good deal of electrical wiring. There are likely to be electric cables underground.
There are a few common causes of electrocution accidents on any construction site. If a cable is not grounded properly, or if a worker digs where they shouldn’t, they can hit an electric line with a metal tool causing the worker to be electrocuted.
Construction sites are busy places, and sometimes too much electricity might be used at one time. When that happens, electrical wires and extension cords can become overloaded and cause a fire.
Improperly grounded electronic equipment can also be a problem. Construction workers must always take the time to make sure that their electrical equipment is properly secured. If it is not grounded properly, it could destroy the circuits and electrocute people on site.
A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a circuit breaker that shuts off electrical power when there is a ground fault. If a site does not have a ground fault circuit interrupter, the construction company may be considered negligent if there is an accident.
Construction workers will often have to climb on scaffoldings and work hundreds of feet in the air.
A construction site must have proper walkways and harnesses, and it is also important that scaffoldings are secure.
The site must clearly mark any elevator shafts and have evacuation routes. All the ladders on site must be in good condition and secured properly. Cleaning up is also imperative for a safe construction site.
Not only is it important for workers to have regular safety training, it is also necessary to have a person on site who is specifically responsible for safety at all times.
Caught In-Between Accidents
As the name indicates, caught in-between accidents involve workers being caught in between two objects. This can include being caught between two pieces of equipment or being caught between a wall and a piece of equipment. It also includes people that are trapped or buried under equipment.
Such situations are responsible for many fatalities on construction sites. These kinds of accidents generally happen when a piece of equipment or a wall or scaffolding is not secured properly. It can also happen when a person operates a piece of equipment they are not trained to handle.
Caught in-between accidents can result in permanent injury and paralysis or torn ligaments and broken bones.
What to do if You Are Injured
If you are injured in a construction accident, you qualify for worker’s compensation. You must report your accident to your immediate supervisor. You will then visit a doctor that is covered by the employer’s insurance.
You should save a record of every medical bill you receive and the receipts from the prescription medications you have to take associated with your accident. You should also determine how much wages you have lost so far and will lose in the future.
Workers’ compensation was designed primarily to avoid lawsuits between employers and employees. However, there are some circumstances where a construction site was so dangerous that you could sue. If you are a contractor, it may be hard to get worker’s compensation. A personal injury attorney will be able to help you.
If you are a pedestrian who is injured in a construction site accident, knowing who is responsible can be confusing because there may be several companies working at a construction site at any given time. You should contact a construction accident lawyer in NYC to see if they can help you determine fault after an accident.
If you have lost a family member due to a construction accident, you are probably suffering financially because of it. You can file a wrongful death lawsuit against a construction company to help get the compensation you need to regain some financial stability.
Without construction workers, we would not have homes to live in or places to do business in. Maintaining a safe work environment is part of a construction company’s job. If you are a construction worker who was injured due to negligence, you should get all the help you need to get better. An attorney can help you get the money for the medical care you will need.