A construction site accident can result in serious injuries to everyone involved, yet these work areas are often poorly managed and contain obvious safety hazards. This industry is so dangerous that in 2012, 12 workers, on average, died every day due to work related injuries. In fact, worker fatalities in this industry make up about 20 percent of all U.S. worker fatalities. This is a staggering figure that is only matched by a couple other industries, and the number of nonfatal but serious injuries is even higher. With so many risks, it is imperative that development companies, foremen and safety personnel work to counteract the danger with stringent safety procedures.
WHAT CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENT IS THE MOST COMMON?
The number one cause of worker injuries, whether fatal or not, is falling from a height. This is something of a misnomer, as even a fall from a few feet up can result in serious or fatal complications. However, workers often have to navigate extreme heights while on scaffolding, roofs or ladders, increasing the risk greatly. These injuries can largely be prevented by installing guardrails wherever a fall risk exists and by requiring secondary fall protection for all workers.
Slips and falls are also common, though they are usually nonfatal. Most work sites are somewhat chaotic, with debris and liquids strewn about the area. When people carelessly leave these materials around the job site, they represent a tripping or slipping hazard. Countering slip and trip risks requires vigilant safety personnel who keep work areas free of debris and report spills immediately.
Falling tools and debris are another frequent cause of injury, and protective wear may not be enough to prevent serious or fatal complications. Safety personnel must protect their workers with more than just hard hats. To do this, work sites should be built with fencing and safety nets around scaffolding and walkways. This will lower the chances of dropped materials falling from high up.
While gravity is the primary enemy at work sites, electrocution is also a major threat. Electrocution often occurs suddenly and when no danger is suspected, making electrical safety that much more important. Defective and exposed wiring are common sources of electrical injuries, though contact with power lines occurs with alarming frequency as well. Safety inspections and training can go a long way in preventing these injuries.
WHAT SHOULD A VICTIM DO IF THEY ARE INVOLVED A CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENT?
If possible, an injured worker should document their working conditions to help illustrate any lapses in safety. After seeking medical treatment, a hurt worker can determine their best course of action with the help of a personal injury attorney. These legal professionals can help a victim press their claim, gather information that demonstrates employer liability, and argue for a favorable settlement. Without professional assistance, a hurt worker will often be underprepared to face an employer that wants to avoid liability at all costs.