One of the essential jobs in the country is construction work. Though many people gloss over this profession, in reality, it provides us all with growing communities, safe housing, and up-to-code buildings. Without construction work, our society would not be as advanced as we are today.
Though it is one of the most important professions, construction work is also one of the most dangerous. Using heavy machinery and constructing large edifices can easily lead to accidents and injuries for the workers. Though there are many standards and safety precautions to help prevent injuries, not all dangerous scenarios can be helped. As a result, accidents still happen all of the time on construction sites, leading to hundreds of injuries and deaths per year.
Interestingly, some accidents are more common than others on construction sites. However, regardless of the project, there is a general trend regarding accidents that may help specific sites be more diligent.
The Fatal Four
Though there are many common accidents and injuries on construction sites, there are four categories that specifically stick out. These events are called “the fatal four” because they are often very serious. These include:
- Getting caught in equipment or machinery
- Being struck by an object
These are often life-threatening accidents, which is why they have such an ominous name. However, other common accidents are not as serious but still occur with regularity.
Falls are the most common construction site injury, making up about 35% of all construction accidents. These often occur when a worker falls from scaffolding, ladders, roofs, chimneys, etc. The severity of the fall depends on how far from the ground the worker was when they fell and the circumstances of the fall. In some scenarios, safety equipment helps mitigate the damage. In other situations, there is no safety net in place.
Because construction means that the workers often create a new building from scratch, it is difficult to implement safety measures. This may be why falls are so common.
A lot of the equipment used on a job site is hazardous. For example, construction workers use extremely heavy machinery to carry out the tasks necessary to build a building, road, etc. Most contractors and supervisors go to great lengths to ensure that their workers are adequately trained on these machines. Unfortunately, though, training cannot prevent all mistakes and accidents from occurring. Sometimes machinery malfunctions or does not react as expected when used in a particular circumstance. In more unfortunate and preventable scenarios, a person who is not properly trained uses machinery and hurts someone in the process.
Construction often occurs on highways and streets. As a result, traffic is rerouted or slowed down to accommodate fewer lanes and limited access. Unfortunately, drivers often get frustrated about this and choose to drive recklessly to make up time. This can cause significant harm, or even death, to the workers on the site.
Slips or Trips
Though workers often try to keep materials organized, construction sites are naturally disheveled places. As a result, certain areas present tripping or falling hazards to workers no matter how much is done. Unfortunately, many of these trips result in injury.
Construction work often occurs near power lines and power sources. This means that it is easy to mistakenly hit power lines with machinery and equipment. Though there are precautions and signs to help remind workers to take care, electrocution still occurs on job sites.
When crews excavate for a new building, they must disturb a significant area of soil to begin. Depending on the soil and the consistency, the surrounding earth can become unstable due to the excavation. This means that the ground can collapse with ease, carrying workers with it. Unfortunately, many are injured, trapped, or killed when this happens.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
This category of injury can occur in nearly any line of work. However, when it comes to construction, there can be larger-scale repetitive motion injuries, especially dealing with the back. This is in contrast to wrist and neck injuries that can easily occur in office settings.
Common Injuries on Construction Sites
The above accidents can lead to myriad injuries, depending on the circumstances and severity of the incident. Any injury type may be eligible for compensation, depending on what happened.
Some common injuries on construction sites include:
- Broken bones
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Chemical exposure illnesses
- Brain and head injuries
- Eye injury and vision damage
Any of these can be highly detrimental to your future and overall health and can put your family in a financially difficult position. In addition, some of these can be permanent or can cause permanent issues.
What to Do If You’re Injured on a Construction Site
If you work on a construction site and suffer an injury, you can take steps to make sure that you preserve your settlement and your health. Follow these steps:
- Assess your injuries. If you believe you have a back or head injury, do not move.Seek emergency medical care.
- If you have non-life-threatening injuries, make plans to seek medical care. Either call an ambulance or determine who can take you to the hospital.
- If you can move, take note of who is nearby. Take photos of the injuries and the cause of your injuries if you can do so without hurting yourself or others.
- Alert your manager or supervisor, but give straightforward details about what occurred. Don’t go too in-depth.
- Call your attorney. Your attorney should be looped into the situation as soon as it happens. This protects you against predatory behavior from insurance companies or corporate representatives.
Contact English Lloyd & Armenta
Here at English Lloyd & Armenta, we have nearly 50 years of experience representing construction workers after they get hurt. We understand the unique laws surrounding your job and can work diligently to get you the compensation and care you rightly deserve. No firm in the Coachella Valley is better equipped to help. Contact us today for more information.