The construction sector is one of the most dangerous industries for employment. Whether working on a small project or a significant commercial development, there are risks associated with construction work. Workers must often deal with heavy equipment, precarious working conditions, and inexperienced colleagues. As a result, workplace injuries occur regularly. However, not all accidents are avoidable and personal injuries happen. Regulations, training, and inspection requirements all seek to mitigate the risks associated with construction work. Here is everything you need to know about construction accidents.
Construction Employment Trends
The construction industry primarily comprises businesses engaged in the construction and rehabilitation of buildings, highways, and utility systems. Also included in the sector are contractors who prepare sites for construction and buildings for sale.
Construction work comprises a wide variety of activities, including additions, new erections, repairs, maintenance, and alterations. Construction work management is usually performed at one site, while the work takes place at multiple locations. Construction work is typically divided up between prime contractors and subcontractors.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the construction industry is one of the most pervasive employment sectors in the nation. Approximately 6 million people consider themselves construction workers, totaling about 4% of the U.S. labor force. The construction industry is growing, with more than 7.4 million workers expected by 2022. If these calculations are accurate, this increase will constitute a 21% increase from 2012 employment levels. The sector is expected to steadily grow in all areas of the U.S, in both rural and urban areas.
Further, the construction industry plays a vital part in the health of the economy. The sector not only constructs buildings we need to live and work, but it increases productivity and improves the standard of living. The industry also contributes to the U.S. economy in the following ways:
- Provides employment opportunities and training
- Creates investing and profit-making opportunities
- Supports health and safety organizations
- Creates better transportation systems
While the construction industry is vital to the U.S. economy, injuries among workers are common. Read below to learn more about the most common workplace injuries.
Construction sites have hazards that contribute to severe and minor workplace injuries. Of the nearly 4,200 worker fatalities reported in 2012, almost 20% were in the construction sector. Almost 50% of these deaths are attributed to the following three factors:
- Falling objects
- Electrical accidents
Workers often face nonfatal injuries and illnesses that require them to visit the hospital or take sick leave. Further, many
also happen when a worker gets stuck in between two objects. Construction workers also have higher rates of nonfatal injuries. Of the more than three million nonfatal injuries reported in 2009, more than 10% were in the construction sector.
Causes of Construction Injuries
Many construction site hazards cause workplace injuries. While some risks are easy to spot, others are less ambiguous. It is essential to know the most common causes of construction injuries so you can avoid accidents. Here are the most common types of injuries suffered by construction workers.
Falls are common among construction workers. Workers often fall from cranes, roofs, ladders, bridges, scaffolding, and other large structures. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatalities among workers. Over the past decade, an average of 275 workers have died in workplace accidents each year. Unfortunately, that trend is rising, with more workers entering the industry. If you fall at a construction site, you should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. You may also want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer if you suspect negligence.
Construction workers operate heavy objects and can be hit by tools, building materials, and wood planks. It is essential for workers to always wear protective materials such as hard hats when working on construction sites. However, serious injuries can still occur even when the proper protective equipment is worn. Construction materials must be properly secured at all times to avoid accidents.
Construction workers often rely on heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes, tractors, bulldozers, and loaders to complete projects. These pieces of equipment require specialized training to function correctly. Workers who do not have the proper training or are careless while performing a task can suffer serious injuries. Even if you follow the proper precautions, it is not uncommon for heavy equipment to malfunction. If you believe a malfunctioning piece of equipment was the cause of your injury, you may want to contact an attorney. Dangerous products must abide by product liability, and the manufacturer may be deemed liable.
One of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities is electrocution. There are approximately 80 electrical-related deaths each year, accounting for over 8% of all construction accidents. Although this number is decreasing, electrocution still remains a threat on construction sites. Although there are many causes of electrical accidents, many of these events can be avoided by taking the proper safety measures. Proper worker safety and consistent use of personal protective equipment can help prevent electrical-related incidents. Wearing protective gear is a requirement on construction sites, not an option.
Construction workers are often susceptible to leaking pipes, exposed wiring, and flammable chemicals at work sites. Many of these hazardous conditions can lead to explosions and fires if the proper precautions are not taken. Less common than other types of accidents, fires and explosions can still result in serious workplace injuries.
Construction workers are often rehabbing dilapidated buildings. A building that is being demolished or is under construction can suddenly collapse or become destabilized. If a construction worker is caught in the rubble, severe injury or even death can occur. You could get compensation if you were involved in a building collapse that resulted in serious injury. You may also be eligible to receive workers’ compensation, even if you were not seriously injured. You can sue your employer or a third party if you suspect negligence caused the injury.
This is not a comprehensive list of all construction accident injuries. Construction sites have many hazards, many of which can cause severe injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is a system that outlines benefits in which injured workers can claim. These benefits may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation offers a critical safety net if you cannot work after you suffer a construction injury.
In Massachusetts, every business must have workers’ compensation for providing money for injured employees. Workers must first file an insurance claim with the employer, and they cannot retain their own attorney. A claim is a request for benefits, not a lawsuit against the employer.
If you do not want to file a workers’ compensation claim, you can sue your employer. Your legal claim will likely involve complex issues regarding liability, safety law, and indemnity. Thus, you should hire a lawyer to ensure help you with your case.
Get Jason Stone Injury Lawyers To Review Your Claim
Do you think someone was at fault in your construction accident? You should have an attorney review the claim as soon as possible. Contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers. We have experience in construction accident liability, and we will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.