If you’ve worked in the construction industry, you know that on-site accidents are not uncommon. Thousands of contactors become victims of accidents that turn their lives upside down every year.
It’s important to understand the most common construction accidents so you can take the proper precautions to protect yourself on the job site or in your own home. This list of the top 10 most common construction accidents will help you recognize potential risks and may help to avoid dangerous construction accidents before they occur.
Construction sites are highly dangerous places, and falling from height is one of most common types of accidents. A typical ground-level fall at a construction site can result in brain injury, spinal cord damage, limb fractures and trauma to internal organs.
Falls aren’t limited to construction sites either – they can happen in residential buildings, office buildings and pretty much any location with height. By properly training employees on how to work safely at heights and using fall protection systems like guardrails, a contracting company can greatly reduce the risk of fatal injuries on a construction job site.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent company or contractor who failed to provide adequate safety protocols or training, an experienced construction accident attorney may be able to help you get compensation for the damages suffered.
2. Electric Shock
An electrical shock occurs when electricity jumps from a source and enters the body. This can occur because something is blocking the flow of electricity from its source or because someone finds themselves in between two touching wires. Electrical shocks account for close to 1 in 20 of the total nonfatal construction accidents each year.
If a construction worker has an electrical shock accident, it can result in serious injuries or even death. Over 3,600 construction workers suffered electric shock injuries in 2018, which made up nearly 9% of all construction injuries during that year.
3. Caught in Machinery Accidents
With over 50,000 injuries occurring on construction sites ever year, machinery is a top culprit when it comes to what causes them.
Construction machinery can cause devastating injuries and even fatalities if they are not properly maintained, used, or even guarded by workers. Many machinery injuries are caused by user error, but studies show that a majority of them are caused by improper maintenance of the equipment.
When a construction site fails to keep proper maintenance practices, maintenance records, or secure their premises from improper use, they may be able to be held liable for the injuries caused by the on-site machinery.
4. Falling Objects
From tools to bricks, falling object accidents are not uncommon causes of injury at construction sites worldwide. Building materials and pieces of scaffolding are especially vulnerable to falling from construction sites at high heights such as in skyscraper constructions.
When you’re working on a construction site, it’s important to be aware of any overhead obstructions that could fall unexpectedly and cause severe injury. Never stand underneath something heavy; wear a hard hat; and make sure your coworkers aren’t in danger. Additionally, report any defective equipment or unsafe work conditions to management as soon as possible.
5. Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries are a big issue on construction sites. As a repetitive action is performed over and over again, it puts an unusual amount of pressure on certain parts of the body.
Some of the most common types of repetitive motion injuries that construction contractors suffer from include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and bursitis.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure placed on a nerve in your wrist that travels up to your arm and hand.
- Tendinitis happens when you repeatedly use muscle groups without giving them adequate time to rest and recover between workouts, resulting in pain and inflammation to your tendons.
All of these conditions result from long-term abuse to joints or muscles in the body caused by overuse of those particular parts.
6. Equipment Collisions
Construction site equipment is often used to haul large and heavy loads of goods through dense areas. When workers are distracted or not paying attention, they could get caught off guard when operating construction equipment and could be involved in a collision with another machine such as a forklift, truck, or trailer.
Construction site equipment is also very often moving in close proximity to other machines that are working nearby and those workers need to maintain safety at all times or it can result in injury.
If you’re ever in an accident at work due to someone else’s negligence, you should call a construction accident attorney as soon as possible. It’s always a good idea to talk with an experienced attorney before deciding on how to handle your case.
7. Ground Collapses
Ground collapses are one of the most common construction accidents that cause injuries. These collapses are often caused by a shifting in feet of underground soil after heavy rains or due to tree roots that have become weakened.
While workers in construction are required to wear safety gear (shoes with steel toes and helmets), this equipment does not offer workers foolproof protection from the types of injuries that can result from a collapse. Common injuries from a ground collapse incident can include broken bones, concussions, blunt trauma, and even death. The severity of these injuries depends on how deep and wide the underground soil has moved.
If you’ve been injured from a ground collapse accident as a result of someone else’s negligence or an unsafe work environment, speak to an experienced construction accident attorney at Heidari Law Group today to discuss your legal options.
8. Ladder Accidents
A slip and fall from a ladder can cause serious injuries that may put you out of work for an extended period of time. Ladder accidents can lead to substantial injuries such as broken bones, spinal injuries, or other long-term disabilities.
There are multiple ways to protect yourself from ladder-related accidents, including staying as safe as possible on your ladder and taking measures to ensure your ladder is not defective or damaged in any way. If an employer is forcing employees to use unsafe ladders or to use ladder equipment in an unsafe way that resulted in injury, they may be able to be held liable for negligence for the injuries caused.
9. Exposure to Chemicals
Many contractors working on construction sites are regularly exposed to a variety of harmful chemicals as part of the job. Long-term exposure to some of these substances can cause cancer or other debilitating illnesses.
In many cases, construction workers don’t know they’re being exposed until it’s too late—when their injury (or illness) is diagnosed. Workers should be trained on all chemicals they could be exposed to and proper safety precautions should be taken by the construction company to minimize hazardous exposure to these materials.
10. Burn Injuries
According to OSHA, the leading cause of burn injuries for construction workers are welding and grinding accidents. Contact with hot surfaces, heated machinery, or electrical accidents are other common sources of burns for construction contractors.
Burns are especially common in states with a colder climate and during winter months, when workers wear multiple layers of clothing and protective gear (gloves) that can catch fire easily when exposed to heat.
If a worker sustains serious burns on-site from equipment or another person’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation under worker’s compensation law if their injury occurred at work.
Injured at a Construction Site?
An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you figure out whether or not you have a case. Contact us at Heidari Law Group today for a free case consultation.