Construction Site Accidents: How Common Are They?
Construction is a high-stakes gig. Even though safety and prevention measures are better than ever, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that in 2015, 937 fatalities occurred in the construction sector. That’s 21.4% of the country’s workplace fatalities. On top of that, a greater number of workers suffer from non-fatal injuries due to construction site accidents.
It’s not too surprising that construction is dangerous; workers deal with heavy machinery, power tools, and building materials every day. Hazards are everywhere. However, patterns occur and being aware of what risks exist helps workers avoid injury. These are the most common construction site accidents.
1. Machinery Accidents
From the smallest nail gun to the largest crane, all machinery poses a threat to construction workers. Construction site accidents involving heavy machinery often result from negligence or error. However, even the most skilled and careful workers make mistakes.
Exposed wiring and unfinished electrical systems create a hazardous environment for workers, but they are also very common around construction sites. Even brief contact with an exposed wire causes bodily harm. OSHA reports 81 fatalities due to electrocution occurred in the construction sector for the year 2015.
3. Caught In/Between Objects or Materials
This terrifying accident includes being compressed by equipment, crushed in a collapsing structure, caught in equipment, or being struck by errant materials. Being crushed or caught between is one of the top four causes of death at construction sites. 67 deaths due to caught-in occurred in 2015.
4. Trench Collapses
Construction sites use trenches for ends such as laying water mains or creating a foundation wall. When a worker is inside a trench during a collapse, they risk blunt trauma as well as suffocation. Recently, a man in the D.C. area died from a trench collapse. Authorities concluded “mechanical asphyxia” as the official cause of death and were accidental in nature.
5. Fires and Explosions
Faulty electrical systems pose dangers beyond electrocution– combined wth leaking gasses and unfinished pipe, constructions sites run the risk of explosions. On the other hand, it only takes a spark or an errant cigarette butt to set a construction site ablaze.
6. Being Hit by a Vehicle
When construction projects center around roads or highways, there are the additional dangers traffic presents. The great majority of the time an accident of this nature is not the fault of the construction worker. Most of these construction site accidents result from negligent drivers or poor driving conditions.
7. Traumatic Brain Injury From Falling Debris
Every day, 138 people in the U.S. die from traumatic brain injury. Construction workers pose a high risk of TBI as they work on projects with multiple levels. All it takes is one falling tool or a swinging beam to cause a brain injury that leads to death.
8. Overexertion and Heat Exhaustion
The Hot or humid weather combined with fatigue caused by hours of hard labor result in dangerous conditions for construction workers. Signs of overexertion and heat stroke include
- Dry, pale skin
If you or a coworker show signs of heat exhaustion, see medical help immediately.
Falls are the most common construction site accidents. In 2015, 364 out of 937 total deaths in construction resulted from falls– that’s 38.8% of total accidents! The OSHA guidelines for “Fall protection, construction” safety measures were the most frequently cited OSHA standards violated by construction sites in the fiscal year 2016.
Construction Site Accidents Caused By Negligence – What To Do
If you believe your employer neglects to follow safety standards for construction site accidents–putting your life at risk– you need a personal injury lawyer. If a dangerous work environment leads to injury, your health and livelihood are on the line. You can’t risk your family’s well-being– or your life.
While Worker’s Compensation or insurance help with expenses due to accident recovery, you may be entitled to additional compensation if your employer fails to meet safe workplace standards. If you believe your accident was due to negligence from your employer, contact Michael Campopiano, Esq. today.