8 Most Common Types of Construction-Related Accidents
Exposure to Chemicals
Repetitive Motion Injuries
If you’ve worked in the construction industry, you know that contractors become victims of accidents every year. Thousands of them are injured or killed in on-site accidents. In the United States alone, construction-related accidents account for a significant number of workplace injuries and fatalities annually. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were approximately 195,600 construction-related accidents reported in the United States in 2020.
In California, a state with a bustling construction industry, the number of construction-related accidents is particularly significant. In 2020, California recorded 24,674 construction-related accidents, highlighting the importance of understanding and addressing the causes of these accidents to ensure a safer work environment.
To prevent such incidents, it is crucial to understand what causes the most common construction accidents, so you can take the proper precautions on the job site. To help you out with this, we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article on this subject. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, here are the eight most common types of construction-related accidents.
A trip or slip at a construction site can lead to devastating injuries and even death. A fall at a construction site typically results in injury to the brain, spinal cord, limbs, and internal organs. They can happen in residential buildings and offices, too, so it’s important to protect employees from falls using safety equipment like guardrails.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by negligence or the failure to implement key safety measures, your lawyer can help you get compensation to pay your hospital bills and compensation for lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages suffered. Keep in mind that these falls mostly occur to construction workers, however you as a pedestrian can find yourself in a slip and fall accident due to a construction site not taking the appropriate safety measures to ensure no one is at risk. That means you would also apply to file a claim for personal injury against the construction company and their insurance coverage.
Construction site machinery is often used to transport large and heavy loads of supplies through crowded areas. Workers cannot afford to be caught off guard while moving these machines and should always be aware of nearby workers and other machinery. Construction workers are at risk of being injured when they operate heavy machinery near other heavy machinery, and sometimes even construction workers can cause accidents. If you’re ever in an accident at work due to someone else’s negligence, it’s best to contact an experienced attorney who helps with construction accident cases as soon as possible. You should always speak with an attorney before deciding on how to handle your case. Here are a few examples of dangerous heavy machinery commonly used in construction work:
Remember, it is crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to proper operating procedures when working with heavy machinery. Employers should provide comprehensive training to operators and ensure that all workers are aware of the potential hazards associated with these machines.
Electricity can travel through wires, pipes, and other conduits to reach its destination. Something can happen to the wire or conduit, like a break in a wire or a crack in the conduit that stops electricity from reaching its destination. Electricity can also be blocked when someone gets between two wires that are touching each other. If a worker is injured from an electrical shock, he or she could suffer serious injuries. This can be problematic, as many of all construction accidents are due to electrical shock.
Electrical shocks can have severe consequences on individuals who experience them. Here are some potential outcomes of suffering from electrical shocks:
To prevent electrical shocks and mitigate the risks associated with them, the following measures should be taken:
Remember, electrical safety is paramount in the construction industry. Adhering to proper safety protocols, providing adequate training, and maintaining a vigilant approach to potential electrical hazards can help prevent accidents and protect workers from the consequences of electrical shocks.
Many contractors working on construction sites—including those in the building and remodeling trades—are exposed to a variety of harmful chemicals as part of the job. Compounds like lead, asbestos, crystalline silica, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may cause cancer and other debilitating illnesses. To minimize the risk of injuries, workers must be trained on all chemicals they could be exposed to. Proper safety precautions should be also taken by construction companies to minimize hazardous exposure to these materials.
To ensure the safety of workers and minimize the risk of injuries associated with chemical exposure on construction sites, standard safety procedures should be followed. Here are some common safety measures and protocols:
By implementing these standard safety procedures, construction companies can minimize hazardous exposure to chemicals and protect the health and well-being of their workers. It is essential to comply with applicable regulations and standards, as well as regularly review and update safety protocols to address new hazards and developments in the industry.
The most common consequence of a falling object in a construction site is head injury. When objects fall from heights, they can strike workers with significant force, resulting in severe head injuries. Head injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to concussions, skull fractures, or traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on the victim's physical and cognitive abilities, and in severe cases, they can even be fatal.
To mitigate the risk of falling object injuries on construction sites, it is essential to follow safety precautions, including:
By implementing these safety measures and promoting a culture of awareness and communication, the risk of falling object injuries can be significantly reduced on construction sites. It is the responsibility of both workers and employers to prioritize safety and take proactive measures to create a safe work environment.
In cases where a worker slips and falls from a ladder, both the ladder itself and the construction company may potentially be held liable for the worker's injuries. Here's an explanation of how ladder or construction company liability can arise:
Establishing liability in ladder fall cases requires a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Factors such as the condition and maintenance of the ladder, adherence to safety guidelines, training records, and any previous incidents involving ladder safety will be considered.
If it is determined that the ladder was defective or that the construction company failed to uphold their duty of ensuring a safe work environment, the injured worker may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the fall.
Burn injuries are common in construction work. Welding and grinding tools are the primary cause of burns, but burns can also be caused by exposure to hot surfaces, heated machinery, or even electrical accidents. Burns are especially common in winter months when workers often wear multiple layers of clothing to protect against the cold. These pieces of clothing are more susceptible to catching fire, which can make burns more likely. If a worker sustains serious burns from equipment or another person’s negligence on the job, they might be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
Construction companies implement various standard measures to protect employees from burn injuries. Here are some common ways in which construction companies prioritize burn injury prevention:
By implementing these standard practices, construction companies aim to protect employees from burn injuries and create a safer working environment. If a worker sustains serious burns due to equipment malfunctions or negligence on the job, they may be eligible for worker's compensation benefits. It is crucial for workers to report such incidents promptly and seek legal advice from experienced attorneys specializing in workers' compensation to understand their rights and potential avenues for compensation.
Repetitive motion injuries are a big issue on construction sites, as the same motion is performed over and over again. Each time it is performed, pressure builds, which eventually leads to pain and injuries. The most common repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and bursitis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, a disorder affecting the wrist nerve, can result when there is pressure on the nearby nerve caused by repetitive activity. Tendinitis, or pain and inflammation of the tendon, can also result from repetitive movement caused by overuse of a joint or muscle group in the body. Both of these conditions result from long-term abuse to joints or muscles in the body.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you gain a better understanding of the most common construction-related injuries. As you can see, there are a multitude of accidents that you need to be wary of while you’re at work. While accidents may happen regardless, keeping yourself informed will go a long way when it comes to preventing avoidable incidents. Be sure to keep everything you’ve learned here in mind so that you can avoid serious injuries while you’re at work.
Let’s face it, accidents happen. This is why it’s important that you protect yourself as much as you can. If you are looking for experienced workers' compensation lawyers in Los Angeles, then we at Mendez & Sanchez Law are at your service. Our attorneys and team members are here to help you through the difficult legal landscape as we pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today and let us discuss your current accident-related situation.
The most common construction-related accidents include falls, equipment collisions, electric shock, exposure to chemicals, falling objects, ladder accidents, burn injuries, and repetitive motion injuries.
Falls can be prevented at construction sites by using safety equipment like guardrails, ensuring proper training for workers, maintaining clear and unobstructed walkways, and implementing fall protection measures such as harnesses and safety nets.
In equipment collision accidents, liability can depend on the specific circumstances. The liable party could be the operator of the equipment, another worker who failed to follow safety protocols, or the employer who failed to provide proper training or maintain a safe work environment. It is best to consult with an experienced attorney to determine the appropriate course of action.
To minimize exposure to chemicals, workers should receive proper training on the chemicals they may come into contact with, use personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, follow safety guidelines and protocols when handling and disposing of chemicals, and ensure proper ventilation in areas where chemicals are present.
Ladder accidents can be avoided on construction sites by using ladders that are in good condition and appropriate for the task at hand, ensuring that ladders are placed on stable surfaces and secured, maintaining three points of contact while climbing or descending, and providing proper training on ladder safety to all workers. Regular inspection and maintenance of ladders are also essential to prevent accidents.