Construction workers face unique hazards on the job, injuries not uncommon

On behalf of Gary Nitsche

Every job has its dangers, but construction workers face a unique set of job hazards. The dangers associated with construction work were highlighted recently by two separate construction accidents.

The first accident involved workers constructing a single-family home. During construction of the residence, a portion of the home collapsed. Three workers suffered from construction injuries and another worker was trapped under debris. The trapped worker was taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained were too severe and the worker did not survive the accident.

The second accident involved a crane. Construction workers were using a crane to complete work on an apartment tower. During construction, the crane collapsed. Experts speculate the collapse was connected to an attempt to lift over double the crane's capacity. The accident caused portions of the building's wooden framework to crumble, trapping and injuring three workers.

Common causes of construction accidents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, the four most common construction hazards are:

  • Falls
  • Electrocution
  • "Caught-in" accidents
  • "Struck-by" accidents

OSHA states that falls are one of the greatest hazards present on construction sites. Accidents involving falls can occur from building structures, scaffolding, stairs and ladders.

OSHA requires that work conducted at six feet or higher use fall protection. Tools used for fall protection include guardrails, floor coverings, personal harnesses and warning lines.

Electrocutions resulted in nine percent of construction worker deaths in 2005. Injury can occur from contact with overhead or buried power lines, energized sources like damaged wires or tools or improper use of extension cords.

A caught-in accident occurs when a worker is caught either between two different objects or inside an object. These accidents occur most often for workers that are using heavy equipment like bulldozers, cranes and front end loaders.

Struck-by injuries happen when a worker is hit by a falling, flying or swinging object. This can occur on a wide variety of sites, ranging from those that use cranes to move materials to work zones on highways.

These four common causes of injury can result from insufficient training or the negligence of an employer. Regardless of the type of injury received, compensation may be available to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses, lost wages and compensation for permanent disfigurement or impairment if applicable.

If you or a loved one is the victim of an injury while working at a construction site, contact our experienced construction injury lawyers to discuss your unique situation and better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.

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