Seven Typical Construction Accidents
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on February 17, 2014
Construction workers face some of the greatest workplace dangers. According to OSHA data, out of the 4,383 U.S. worker fatalities in 2012, 19.6 percent (or 775) were in the construction industry. With the heavy equipment, heights, sharp tools, and physical nature of the job, it is little wonder that the industry poses such dangers to employees. However, although the business is full of innate dangers, many of them could be greatly reduced or eliminated by implementing stricter safety measures and more rigidly adhering to those already in place.
Victims of construction accidents in St. George and surrounding areas can rely on the personal injury attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, for legal representation.
The Biggest Dangers
There are a number of dangers to be found on any construction site, but some accidents occur with alarming frequency. OSHA calls the first four types of accident on this list the “Fatal Four” since they were responsible for 56 percent of all construction site accidents in 2012.
- Falls - Falls are by far the greatest danger that construction workers must face on a daily basis. In fact, 278 construction employees were killed in a fall in 2012. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if site supervisors had erected sturdier scaffolds with guardrails. Additional safety features like harnesses and ropes could drastically help to reduce the number of construction site fatalities.
- Being Struck by a Falling Object - Even with proper safety helmets and protective clothing, approximately 10 percent of all construction site fatalities occur because of falling debris or equipment. Many of the same measures that could prevent falls would help to prevent these accidents; better guardrails, fences, and safety nettings would be of enormous benefit on construction sites.
- Electrocutions - About 9 percent of all construction site deaths occur because of electrocution, and it is little wonder; electricity is already quite dangerous, and with the number of exposed wires and the hustle and bustle of a construction site, the risks increase dramatically. While staff electricians are usually quite experienced, many of the other workers on a site are often woefully undereducated regarding electrical safety. Better and more comprehensive training is necessary to decrease such fatalities.
- Caught-betweens - With so many pieces of heavy equipment and moving objects on a construction site, being caught in between such objects can lead to severe cuts, crushed limbs, scalping, and countless other injuries. Establishing safe pathways for workers, carefully monitoring all vehicles and equipment, installing loud back-up alarms, and providing adequate training could greatly reduce the frequency of caught-between injuries and fatalities.
- Slips and Trips - Slipping on a puddle or tripping over a tool may seem like a minor occurrence, but when workers are using high scaffolding or sharp tools, a normally inconsequential fall can have disastrous consequences. It is imperative that construction workers keep walkways, workspaces, and scaffolding clear. Workers should also immediately report any spills.
- Vehicle Accidents - Construction equipment can pose immense dangers to workers, especially on road construction sites. Proper vehicle maintenance, better safety training, and loud back-up alarms would all help to reduce the number of serious vehicular accidents that occur each year.
- Power Tool Injuries - According to federal regulations, employers are responsible for all power and hand tools used on a work site, including those provided by individual workers. Employers have a responsibility to guard against loose pieces that may fly off, exposed electrical cords, equipment that gives off dangerous gas or fumes, and other hazards.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, you will typically be able to collect damages through workers compensation, even if this accident occurred through your own fault. Workers comp covers medical bills, lost wages, physical and occupational therapy, and related costs. However, if your injury was the result of gross negligence on the part of another party, you may also be eligible to wage a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you were injured by a defective tool or piece of equipment, you may be able to sue the manufacturer.
Find a Workplace Injury Lawyer
For more information about construction site accidents, contact a personal injury attorney in your area. He or she can help you file for workers compensation and determine if you have a viable lawsuit.
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