Houston Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction site accidents are a major problem around the world, claiming hundreds of lives and causing thousands of grievous injuries every year in the U.S. alone. In 2001, there were 1,225 fatal incidents, resulting in a staggering rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 workers, higher than any other occupation. In fact, this industry represents 6 percent of the U.S. workforce, but nearly 20 percent of all workplace fatalities. Though safety has improved marginally since 2001, thousands of preventable incidents still occur every year.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENTS?
The leading cause of injury in the industry is falling from heights. OSHA requires fall protection around runways, ramps, walkways, hoist areas, formwork, holes, excavations, and other unprotected edges. Those in the bricklaying, roofing, and residential building industries are at particular risk of falling.
Vehicle wrecks are another major source of injury, affecting workers at job sites and those traveling between job sites. Most injuries caused by motor vehicles in the industry are from work vehicles attempting to move material or excavate areas.
Falls and vehicle crashes represent the bulk of industry incidents, but many workers are also struck by objects, electrocuted, or caught between objects every year. Laborers also have to contend with several health hazards each year, such as asbestos, corrosive chemicals and excessive noise.
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES CAN CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENTS CAUSE?
Workers harmed in workplace incidents can suffer from a number of injuries, many of them permanent or severely debilitating. Falls, even those from low heights, and being struck by objects can result in multiple broken bones, internal damage, or injuries to the spine or brain. Brain and spine injuries are especially problematic as they typically cause permanent disability. Spine and brain injuries may result in paralysis, problems with cognition, pain, speech or motor problems, or other complications. Recovery from spine and brain injuries is almost always limited and only possible after extensive physical or mental rehabilitation.
Workers can also be harmed by corrosive chemicals, which may cause burns, or permanent damage to eyes or ears. Workers that inhale noxious fumes produced by chemicals may suffer from brain or lung damage if oxygen is deprived for long.
Exposure to asbestos can cause a fatal condition known as mesothelioma, a cancer that may affect the lining around the lungs or heart. Mesothelioma is difficult to detect and often impossible to treat once found. Most people diagnosed with it only have months to live.
ARE THESE INJURIES PREVENTABLE?
In most cases, an employer can mitigate the risk of any incidents by implementing safety protocols or placing protective barriers or signage in high risk areas. Unfortunately, fall protection is often not placed in areas where it would be helpful. This is because safety regulations do not adequately define where the protection should be placed, resulting in many workers being involved in short falls, which can be just as dangerous as falls from greater heights.
Anyone who is injured during a workplace incident at a construction site should consider speaking to a Houston construction accident lawyer right away. An experienced injury lawyer may be able to help a victim of a workplace incident get the compensation they need for medical expenses and ongoing therapy.
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