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Construction Accidents: Most Common Causes

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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July 20, 2024

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The most recent OSHA statistics show that in 2017 there were 4,674 workers killed in private industries. Of those 7 percent were in the construction field. Given the rate of progress throughout the United States, these numbers are expected to climb in the coming years.

There are many causes of construction accidents, and while some of them may seem obvious and are easy to see on a construction site, others may be less obvious. Below are the most common causes of construction injuries.

Falls:  This is one of the most common of all construction injuries. As a construction worker, it’s possible you may fall from scaffolding, roofs, ladders, cranes, and other various heights. You may be able to file a claim for Worker’s Compensation Benefits and, in some cases, a personal injury lawsuit against a general contractor, subcontractor, or property owner.

Equipment Accidents:

The heavy equipment used on many construction sites could cause you to be injured. A forklift may fail, a nail gun could misfire, or another piece of equipment could malfunction or be used improperly and unsafely by another worker. If it’s found the equipment that caused your construction injury was dangerous or unsafe, you should discuss your case with a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable in product liability law. Product liability laws are meant to protect you from defective and/or dangerous products.

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Falling Objects:

Even if you are equipped with the proper safety equipment you could still receive serious injuries from a falling object.  You could suffer a variety of injuries that could include a traumatic brain injury or serious spinal cord injury. There are many moving parts on a construction site and accidents happen. A piece of equipment or tool could fall from just about anywhere causing you to be severely injured.

Motor Vehicles

Each year many construction workers are run over by big trucks that are backing out of a construction site or crushed between a vehicle and concrete wall. Most of these accidents could be avoided if the supervisor wasn’t neglecting or failing to control the construction site.

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Building or Trench Collapses

Sometimes when a building or trench is being built it may collapse. A building undergoing demolition or construction could collapse killing or severely injuring workers inside the building at the time.  Even if the reason for the accident can’t be positively determined, you may be able to receive monetary compensation without proving who was negligent and how they acted in a negligent manner.

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Heat Stroke, Repetitive Motion Injury and Other Over-exertion

Construction work requires hard physical labor, and if you’re a construction worker, you may suffer an injury due to overexertion that include:

  1. Repetitive motion injury
  2. Joint and muscle damage that is caused by overuse
  3. Heat Stress: In the summer, working in the heat could lead to brain, kidney, and heart damages. In severe cases, it could lead to death.
  4. Frostbite and/or Hypothermia: Working outside in cold temperatures could lead to frostbite or hypothermia causing you to lose fingers, toes, and even parts of your face, such as your nose.

Unsafe Lead Levels

Between 2002 and 2008 construction workers made up 16% of all elevated blood lead concentration cases in the United States. Unsafe lead levels are caused by construction sites and work practices that are unsafe and put you in danger.

Respiratory Diseases

Many construction workers contract pneumoconiosis. Legally, pneumoconiosis is caused by chronic dust disease of the lungs that arise due to your employment.  As a construction worker, you may be exposed to asbestos, Coal Worker’s Black Lung, and Silicosis. If you’ve contracted one of these diseases due to your employment, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturers or suppliers of asbestos, silica, or another product that caused you to be injured.

Common Injuries Due to Construction Injuries:

The very nature of construction work makes it a dangerous profession. Some of the most common injuries you could suffer include:

Burn Injuries

Burns are one of the most common injuries that can occur on a construction site. On many sites, there can be explosions and fires. Additionally, being exposed to dangerous chemicals, exposed electrical wires, and leaky pipes can lead to a wide range of injuries that create the risk of a fire or explosion occurring.

Head Injuries:

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) are caused by trauma due to falling objects, tools that are improperly secured, and slip and falls.  As a construction worker, you could also suffer a head injury such as a cut, skull fracture, concussion, and others. Your hard hat may provide you with some protection, but brain injuries can cause your entire personality to change or strip you of your ability to do simple everyday tasks.

Spinal Injuries:

As a construction worker, you may suffer a spinal injury due to a fall off a ladder or scaffolding.  Spinal injuries could lead to loss of function, partial or full paralysis, or traumatic brain injuries.

Cuts and Lacerations:

Cuts and lacerations are the most common form of construction injury. They can be caused by tools that are improperly or poorly maintained, defective equipment, being exposed to sharp objects, broken glass, debris, or unsecured machinery. Even cuts that may not seem serious could become infected which could cause you serious injury if not treated properly.

Fractured or Broken Bones:

If machinery and other construction site tools aren’t properly secured, or you haven’t been properly trained to operate the equipment, you could suffer fractured or broken bones. Depending on how severe your break is, you could end up with a lifelong injury.

Loss of Limb(s):

Heavy objects and/or equipment injures construction workers every year. Various types of equipment could cause you to lose a limb, either as a result of the accident or due to necessary amputation to save your life.

Sensory Loss:

Eyesight and hearing are two of the senses it’s common for many construction workers to lose due to being subjected to constant loud noises or being exposed to chemicals that may be dangerous. Flying debris or the light from welding tools can have a negative impact on your eyesight. You should always wear the proper protective gear when on your construction site.

Stress Injuries:

Injuries caused by repetitive motions such as bending, lifting, and twisting can, over time, cause loss of function and life-altering implications.

Environmental Conditions:

As a construction worker, you could face working in high heat, or frigid cold temperatures. Frostbite and heatstroke are all common injuries that could lead to heart attack, hypothermia, or other injuries.

Call Our Workplace Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you were injured on a construction site, schedule a free consultation with a construction accident lawyer in Brooklyn. We handle work injuries, occupational illnesses, and fatal workplace accident cases throughout New York City.

Call or text (212) 540-2981 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form

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