5 Most Common Types of Construction Site Injuries
Construction sites are inherently more dangerous than many other work sites. Because of the debris, heavy machinery, and working conditions, most construction site workers go the extra mile to stay vigilant while they work.
However, just because construction sites are inherently more dangerous than office workplaces doesn’t mean construction workers should expect to be injured on the job. On the contrary-if you’re a construction worker, your employer should be even more dedicated to ensuring your safety in the workplace than a manager in a white-collar job.
After all, while it’s possible to be injured at a desk job, construction site injuries are often much more severe. If your workplace fails to protect you, you could experience injuries as traumatic as severe burns, dismemberment, or paralysis.
Below, we’ll cover some of the most common construction site injuries. We’ll explain what you can do to protect yourself in the workplace, and then we’ll discuss your options if you get injured on the job in spite of your precautions.
1. Accidents With Heavy Equipment
No matter what type of construction site you work at, you’re probably around cranes, dump trucks, or hydraulic equipment every day of the work week. As long as the heavy equipment you work around is well maintained and used correctly, you shouldn’t experience any problems.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Perhaps your employer failed to give your co-workers proper operating instructions. Maybe your company didn’t invest the right amount of time or money into maintenance and proper upkeep. Perhaps unsafe working conditions caused you to trip and fall when you were working near heavy machinery.
Depending on the type of site you work at and what type of equipment you use, your injuries could range from cuts and burns to electrocution and serious, life-long impairments.
2. Falls From Great Heights
If you construct new roofs, you spend most of your time atop steep slopes and supported by ladders, safety harnesses, and scaffolding. If you operate a crane, you’re used to safely working high above the ground. If you construct buildings that are two or more stories high, you depend on sturdy scaffolding and guard rails to keep you in place.
However, improperly installed scaffolding, malfunctioning safety equipment, and a lack of guard rails cause many construction workers to fall. Falls from short distances might result in temporary injuries, but falls from greater heights can cause paralysis, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.
3. Falling Objects
Depending on how far they fall, even small objects can cause permanent damage. For instance, a tool that falls several stories lands with great force, potentially causing blunt force trauma, head wounds, or brain or spinal cord injuries. The further an object falls and the larger it is, the greater its potential to harm workers on the ground.
4. Explosions, Fire, and Electrocution
Your employer should go to great lengths to ensure no wires are exposed and no flammable materials exist near open flames on the construction site. However, hazardous chemicals can spill, and leaky pipes can mix with exposed wires. Injuries from explosion, fire, and electrocution are generally very severe. For instance, they can cause dismemberment, severe burns, and severe head wounds.
5. Heat Stroke, Exhaustion, and Frostbite
Many construction projects happen in the middle of summer. If you work in road construction, you work hot days where the sun’s heat is magnified by the asphalt. If you work without the proper gear and without access to enough water, you could suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can cause brain damage, organ failure, or death if it isn’t treated immediately.
In contrast, if you work during the winter without the proper gear, you might suffer from frostbite, which could result in amputation. You could experience hypothermia if you work in cold conditions and in wet clothing.
Additionally, if you work in extreme weather conditions, you might suffer from other related injuries. For instance, working in heavy snow or rain exacerbates your risk of slipping and falling. And dehydration is always a risk when you work outdoors.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
In a personal injury lawsuit, the victim must demonstrate that another party was negligent and at least partially responsible for the injury. In contrast, the victim usually must demonstrate that he or she did not act in an unsafe way that directly caused the injury.
To protect yourself on the job and indicate that you weren’t negligent if an accident does occur, take these key steps:
- Always follow your company’s safety rules and regulations.
- Learn how to operate machinery properly.
- Wear the proper safety gear, including hard hats, protective eyewear, gloves, and boots.
- Stay aware of your surroundings, including the weather. Don’t let yourself get distracted. Report dangerous conditions immediately.
Of course, despite your best precautions, a negligent party can cause a workplace accident that leaves you with devastating injuries, including the five types of injuries mentioned above. If this describes your situation, get in touch with Robert Kornfeld. He can review your case and work on your behalf so you receive just compensation for your construction site injuries.