7 Most Common Construction Site Injuries
It’s no secret that construction workers are at serious risk of accidents and potentially life-altering or fatal injuries every day they get up and go to work. Construction sites are incredibly dangerous places and account for a large portion of all work-related injuries in the United States. Unfortunately, a number of these accidents result in fatalities. According to a 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roofers have the fourth most dangerous job in the country, while first-line supervisors of construction sites are the ninth, accounting for 318 deaths in 2016 alone.
Jobs in construction are physically demanding. They may require the use of heavy-duty machinery, working from heights for long periods of time with very little protection, and even exposure to fast-moving motor vehicles on highways. Despite being outfitted with hard hats and other protective gear, accidents can occur—and when they do, they put construction workers’ lives at risk. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main types of construction accidents that put workers in grave danger. These accidents are known as the Fatal Four, and include the following:
- Falls from heights
- Being struck by an object
- Getting caught in or between equipment or machinery
While these may be the most serious causes of accidents, there are a number of other types of accidents that put construction workers at risk of life-altering injuries or severe debilitations. Along with the Fatal Four, workers can also be injured by a trench collapsing, a scaffolding malfunction, misused or unworn safety gear, malfunctioning equipment, and even repetitive motions.
Common Injuries from Construction Accidents
According to OSHA, all construction workers are at risk of work-related injuries. Furthermore, the longer a person works in construction, the higher the chance they will suffer a disabling injury or a fatal injury. The construction industry currently employs four percent of all workers, but is responsible for 21 percent of all workplace fatalities. Some of the most common injuries include, in no particular order:
- Burns and scarring — There is always a chance of a fire or explosion on construction sites, no matter the size, which makes this one of the most common construction injuries. In the event of an explosion, any workers in the surrounding area can suffer harm.
- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries — Even with hardhats, objects, debris, and tools falling from heights can cause painful and serious brain injuries when they strike workers. Along with head injuries, falls from ladders or scaffolding can result in spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.
- Eye injuries, including blindness — This can occur in the event of prolonged exposure to hazardous on-site chemicals or gases. In other cases, flying debris can strike the eye and cause serious damage. Additionally, welding without proper protective eye covering can result in severely damaged vision or even blindness.
- Sprains, strains, or broken bones — Because construction jobs are so physically demanding, the body wears down over time, and is at increased risk of joint, ligament, and bone injuries. Accidents involving heavy machinery could result in broken or crushed bones, severely impacting one’s ability to work or even walk again.
- Lacerations and loss of limbs — Working with sharp tools and materials, workers are at risk of cuts and lacerations that could lead to infection if not properly treated. In more severe cases, heavy machinery and sharp objects can result in losing a limb, finger, or toe.
- Lower back pain and other stress injuries — Construction workers are forced to complete the same physically demanding task over and over for years. Over time, this constant moving, lifting, and bending can cause an incredible amount of stress on your back, knees, and other joints, resulting in a lifetime of pain and in some instances, mobility issues.
- Extreme heat and cold injuries — Construction workers are often required to work outside all year long, exposing themselves to the elements and extreme weather conditions. Workers may experience frostbite or heat stroke injuries, resulting in loss of digits, hypothermia, or an increased risk of a stroke or heart attack if not properly treated.
When construction workers are injured on the job, they deserve financial compensation to help them pay for medical bills and care for their families. Many injuries require extensive medical care and may prevent workers from returning to the job for weeks, months, or even years. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of someone else’s negligence. Contact an Oklahoma construction accident lawyer at Abel Law Firm today and take the first step in protecting your rights and future by calling (405) 239-7046.