Workers in the construction industry have an increased risk of injury over workers in many other occupations. The hazards on a construction site are numerous. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations in place to protect workers in construction, many workers still suffer serious and fatal injuries each year. Knowing the causes of construction injuries and who is liable for them can help you recover the compensation you need after an accident.
What are “the fatal four” and why do they matter?
OSHA coined the term “the fatal four” to describe the top causes of fatal workplace accidents. The top four causes of death on a construction site include:
- Struck by object
- Caught in or between
OSHA reports that construction workers made up 20.5 percent of all workplace deaths in 2014. The fatal four caused the death of 60.6 percent of the almost 900 construction workers who died in 2014.
What are the most common causes of construction injuries?
While fatalities are more common in construction than in almost any other industry, a high number of non-fatal injuries occur each year. Some of the top causes of these injuries overlap with the causes of fatal injuries, but some do not. The most common causes of construction site injuries include:
In addition to falls from scaffolding or a ladder, construction workers often work on uneven surfaces where trips and slips are common.
Trucks, machinery, and even stacks of building equipment or a trench collapse can lead to crush injuries. These injuries are often due to a lack of proper oversight at the work site. Sometimes you may hear these accidents termed “caught in/between” incidents.
Hard hats can prevent some injuries from falling objects, but if workers are not wearing the proper safety equipment or if a large or heavy object falls from a distance, injuries may result. Injuries may also occur from flying objects, e.g., nails shot out from nail guns.
When heavy machinery or power tools fail, devastating injuries may result. A forklift that has defective forks made of weak metal may drop a load, leading to serious crush injuries, for example.
Burns and Shocks
Burns and electrical shocks often lead to serious injuries. Because of the nature of a construction site, exposed wiring, flammable chemicals, and other hazards increase the risk of burns and shocks.
Construction workers often put in long hours exposed to all types of weather conditions. This may lead to heat stroke in summer or hypothermia and frostbite in winter. Repetitive motion injuries are also common, especially to the knee, elbow, and shoulder joints. Back injuries from improper lifting techniques are among the most common construction injuries.
Who is liable for my construction job site injury?
In almost every case, you can recover compensation for your injuries through a workers’ compensation claim. There may, however, be a third party who is also liable for your injuries. These third parties may include:
- A product manufacturer, if a defective tool or other product caused the injuries
- A motorist, when the injuries occur in a traffic accident
- The property owner, depending on how your injuries occurred
- Another contractor on site, if s/he caused or contributed to your injuries
A knowledgeable construction accident attorney can help you identify all possible liable parties, working to get you all the compensation available for your injuries. If another party is liable for your injuries, we will help you file a claim against him/her.
Can Cordisco & Saile, LLC help me after a NJ or PA construction accident?
If you suffered injuries on a Bucks County construction site or other job site, Cordisco & Saile, LLC can help you determine who is liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. We work with injured employees to help them file workers’ compensation claims, file claims against liable third parties, and get the money they need.
Call us today at 215-642-2335 to schedule your free case evaluation.