5 Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Hundreds of thousands of North Carolina residents are employed in the construction industry. These jobs aren’t easy, and often involve long hours and difficult physical labor. They also involve a certain degree of risk, since construction accidents, injuries, and even deaths, are not uncommon on jobsites.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), around 20 percent of all worker fatalities each year occur in the construction industry. If you were injured while working construction, you may find your employer doesn’t provide the compensation needed to cover things like medical bills and time away from work. Thankfully, the lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys are experienced in navigating workers’ compensation claims and may be able to help you get the benefits you’re entitled to after a construction accident.
Below are some of the most common types of construction accidents and the types of injuries they can cause. If you’ve experienced any of the following injuries while working construction, contact our team at 910-763-1100 for help with worker’s compensation claims.
A large majority of construction injuries and fatalities are caused by falling, either from the same level or a fall to a lower level. Many construction sites involve working on things like cranes, ladders, or scaffolding, so it’s easy to see how a loss of balance or a slip could result in a serious injury.
Many of these falls can be prevented by using securements like safety harnesses and belay systems. However, without proper safety equipment, falls often result in construction workers suffering broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs), paralysis, and even death.
Tools and materials tend to be strewn about on construction sites and, just like people, it’s not uncommon for those objects to fall. If an object falls from an upper level and hits a construction worker, they could suffer blunt force trauma, head injuries, brain damage, or death.
By keeping tools and materials neatly organized and safely stored, the chances of an object falling become much smaller. Additionally, all workers and construction site visitors should wear hardhats to minimize the risk of being injured by a falling object.
The machinery used on construction sites is high-quality, but that doesn’t mean they can’t malfunction or break. Human error is also a factor that can cause injuries involving heavy machinery. Whenever a tool breaks or a piece of equipment malfunctions, there is always the possibility those in the immediate area could suffer puncture wounds, lacerations, or damage to their extremities.
To reduce the chances of machinery failing, all equipment and tools should be properly cleaned and maintained. Additionally, nobody working on a construction site should operate any piece of machinery without proper training.
Fires and Explosions
Construction sites often contain flammable materials and other hazardous chemicals which, if not handled properly, can result in fires or explosions that can cause severe burns and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Preventing these types of injuries is easy as long as hazardous materials are properly labeled and stored. Construction workers should also be educated on how to handle hazardous materials and be outfitted with safety equipment like gloves and eye protection.
These types of accidents happen when a construction worker is trapped between two pieces of material, crushed by machinery, or run over by a vehicle. The consequences of these accidents are very severe, often involving internal bleeding or organ damage, if not death.
Construction site managers should train employees to conduct several checks, both verbally and physically, to make sure nobody is in the vicinity of a vehicle or piece of equipment before it is moved.
In addition to the types of accidents mentioned above, collapses, overexertion, respiratory diseases, and eye injuries are also common on construction sites.
Regardless of what type of injury you’ve suffered as a construction worker, it’s always a good idea to consult with one of our Wilmington, NC workers’ compensation lawyers to ensure you’re being treated fairly and are receiving the benefits you’re entitled to. Click here to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can help.