Construction Site Injuries
Construction work has many hazards. This, unfortunately, makes construction site accidents common. Danger can lurk around every corner of the work site. This is why construction companies and subcontractors must focus on safety. Everyone, from property owners to workers, should be well-informed about the possible risks.
Injuries can occur in many professions. But they are, unfortunately, significantly more common in the construction industry. This is due to the dangerous nature of the work. Injured construction workers may be eligible for workers' compensation coverage. This means they can receive payments while they recover from their injuries.
FindLaw's Construction Site Injuries subsection covers the basics of construction safety. It contains Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and information on workers' compensation claims. You'll also find articles covering topics such as scaffold injuries and workers' rights.
Keep reading if you are unsure whether your injury classifies as a construction site injury. This article and the pages below are helpful places to start if you have been in a workplace accident.
Common Types of Construction Site Injuries
Construction sites are often bustling with activity. They are teeming with several inherent hazards that pose a risk to workers. Workers are subject to falls and tripping injuries. They must watch out for crushing and falling objects that might cause serious damage.
Workers also have to worry about heat conditions and the effectiveness of equipment. Some workers suffer respiratory ailments from dust or chemicals used in building materials. In extreme cases, a structure might collapse, injuring trapped workers.
Read on to learn more about each of these types of construction accident injuries.
Falling and Tripping Injuries
One of the most common types of injuries is from falling and tripping. When workers are high up on scaffolding or ladders, the risk of falling is high. This is especially true if there's a lack of fall protection, like harnesses, railings, or barriers. Construction workers can trip over cords and uneven surfaces, even on solid ground. They could also fall into a pit or trench. In worst-case scenarios, a construction collapse can lead to serious injuries. It can also lead to wrongful death.
Crushing and Falling Object Injuries
Construction sites can also be fraught with crushing accidents and falling objects. A high amount of force applied to the body can lead to broken bones and concussions. It might also lead to internal bleeding and, sometimes, amputations. Heavy materials or tools falling from above can cause such damage.
Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
The weather is of extreme concern to construction workers. This is especially true during the hot summer months. Workers may face prolonged exposure to high temperatures. They might not get adequate breaks, hydration, or protective clothing. This can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and rapid heartbeat. In extreme cases, it can lead to loss of consciousness. This highlights the importance of providing workers with adequate rest, shade, and water. It also means adjusting work schedules to cooler parts of the day when possible.
Injuries Caused by Defective Equipment
Defective or poorly maintained equipment is another common cause of construction accident cases. This might involve a defective product that fails to operate properly. This defect increases the risk of an accident.
Inhalation risks and respiratory dangers are prevalent on construction sites. Chemical burns are also a possibility. This is due to exposure to dust, fumes, and other harmful substances. Workers can inhale these particles, leading to lung diseases or respiratory distress. It can also lead to long-term conditions like asbestosis or silicosis. Workers should properly use protective equipment to reduce these risks. This might include masks or respirators.
Vehicle accidents on construction sites often involve trucks, forklifts, or other construction vehicles. These incidents can occur due to poor visibility or operator error. They are also subject to mechanical failure or unsafe driving conditions. Such accidents can cause serious injuries. Injuries can range from broken bones to brain injuries or even fatalities.
Heavy Machinery Collisions
Heavy machinery collisions can occur on construction sites. They can happen when large vehicles like excavators, bulldozers, or cranes are operated without adequate safety measures or by untrained workers. These accidents can lead to life-threatening injuries. Injuries can include broken bones, internal damage, or traumatic brain injuries. This underscores the importance of proper training and vigilant safety practices.
Electrocutions are another serious hazard at construction sites. This is especially true when workers come into contact with live wires or faulty electrical equipment. This can lead to severe injuries, cardiac issues, and burns. In some extreme cases, it can also lead to wrongful death. This underlines the importance of proper electrical safety measures and routine inspections.
What To Do If You've Been Injured
When a loved one suffers from a work-related injury, the first step is to seek immediate medical attention. Get medical care as soon as possible. Whether you've been in a car accident while driving or are injured at the job site, you must seek immediate medical attention for a workplace injury. Do not wait.
Medical treatment can lead to significant medical bills. Therefore, it's essential to understand your legal rights for recovery. A worker's compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, depending on whether your employer or a third party is responsible for your injury, can be filed with the help of a personal injury attorney or construction accident lawyer. They can provide legal advice. They will help you navigate the complex world of workers' compensation law and personal injury case proceedings. The negligent parties, such as construction companies or subcontractors, could be held responsible for the accident. Thus, they can be ordered to compensate for medical expenses.
While the workers' compensation system can cover some costs, sometimes a comp claim isn't enough. You may need to sue a third party. This is where a personal injury lawyer can help. They can help by building a client relationship based on trust. These attorneys fight for their client's rights against insurance companies.
Recovery Options for Injured Workers
If a construction worker is injured on the job, they can file a claim for workers' compensation. This is a form of employer insurance. Workers' compensation benefits are meant to provide injured workers with a quick and (relatively) simple way to obtain insurance payments during their recovery period. This helps so that mortgage payments and other bills can be paid on time.
Note that workers' compensation benefits are usually available to a hurt worker even if they were responsible in some way for the injury's occurrence. Also, remember that compensation benefits are capped. They usually decrease over time as the employee heals and transitions back to work. If an employer acted in a manner that clearly disregards worker safety, an injured employee can choose to file a lawsuit rather than a workers' compensation claim.
Discuss Your Legal Options With an Attorney
An attorney can help you understand your rights to a safe workplace. They can explain OSHA regulations. They can also help you understand your state's regulations. They can also help you file a workers' compensation claim if you've been injured. In some situations, a lawsuit may make more sense. An attorney can explain the pros and cons of both workers' compensation claims and lawsuits. That way, you can decide on the best course to take.
Law offices can also help you contact the liable parties. Attorneys can also pursue your workers' comp claim in court. Lawyers can help your case tremendously.
Talk to a construction accident attorney about your possible claim today.
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