There exists a common misperception that construction sites are always going to be dangerous no matter what and construction in juries are unavoidable. According to OSHA and other industry group research, the exact opposite is true—most construction and industrial accidents are avoidable if proper safety rules are followed. While it is true that heavy equipment, electrical systems, and working at elevated heights can be hazardous, it is not true that they will eventually cause an accident or injury. When supervisors and management insist upon following the well-known safety standards and protocols, the vast majority of dangers can be completely avoided or significantly reduced.
Once safety standards are allowed to slip, training is not given to all workers, or maintenance is not done on equipment and machinery, the odds of a construction injury occurring increase considerably. If you work on a construction site, it may be beneficial to know some of the most common construction site accidents and how they happen so you can hopefully avoid them.
Some of the most common construction site accidents, in no particular order, are:
- Falling Onto Another Level: A construction worker who falls from one story to another can suffer spinal cord injury, back injuries, brain damage, broken bones, and more. Many fall accidents are caused by a lack of fall safety equipment or inadequate scaffolding.
- Falling Onto the Same Level: Debris, wiring, tools, job materials and dust can make the flooring in a construction site anything but safe. Workers who trip and fall can be severely injured, such as in cases where leg or ankle fractures occur or knee ligaments and cartilage tear from the sudden twist and strain.
- Falling Objects: Anything that is placed on a higher level off the floor or on a floor above where workers are located or that is being lifted on a job site must be secured tightly. Unsecured equipment, tools or job materials may unexpectedly shift or fall, causing these objects to fall onto unsuspecting workers below. Hard hats help reduce injury but will not likely completely prevent it.
- Burn Injuries: Welding is hazardous, especially when equipment is not maintained or training is not provided. The hot flames of a welder can easily cause severe burns on hands and limbs or cause job site fires. Electrocution from faulty wiring while installing new systems or repairing existing systems can also lead to full-body burns. Other types of fire or burn injuries can be caused by the failure to adequately control hazardous energy or take safety precautions while performing “hot work”.
- Crush Injuries: Heavy machinery that is out of control due to a defect or operator error can crush an individual, often leading to fatal injuries. In other instances, a worker can be paralyzed or have their arms, hands, legs or feet crushed between moving parts while attempting to fix the machine.
Legal Help After a Construction Accident
After being hurt in a construction accident, it is important to seek any necessary medical attention and inform your employer about what happened. At that point, things can start to feel like an uphill battle. Your employer might not deny your claim, or their insurance company may try to give you a small settlement in hopes to save themselves some money. What are you supposed to do then?
Contact Matzus Law LLC LLC and let our Pittsburgh construction injury attorney know about what happened. For more than 20 years, we have been providing outstanding personal injury representation to clients, fighting the biggest and toughest corporations and insurance companies to insist our clients get the compensation they deserve.