Category: Construction Accidents

What are Common Construction Site Hazards?

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Construction sites are danger zones for many employees and those located near residential construction areas. Construction typically deals with heavy machinery, heights, and other hazards that are extremely dangerous. Due to the nature of the construction industry, accidents often lead to severe injuries and fatalities.

Injured victims are often forced to deal with the costs for recovery, including medical bills, lost wages, and disability. Victims facing these costs should contact a lawyer to help alleviate financial burdens associated with construction-related injuries.

What Types of Accidents Happen at Construction Sites?

Construction sites have plenty of hazards. Some common construction site accidents include:

Slips, Trips, and Falls: Slip and fall accidents happen frequently in residential and commercial construction areas. Since it is one of the most common accidents, it is crucial that employees and others take precautionary measures. Walkways should be free of obstruction, and those on or near construction sites should watch out for uneven walking surfaces, and pay attention to wet and slippery floors.

Falls from Heights: Falls from heights is one of the leading causes of fatal work-related injuries. For some, working from heights is unavoidable. It is important that both employers and employees plan so that everyone takes the proper steps to stay safe when far from the ground.

Electrocutions: Working around electricity can be very unpredictable, especially since the dangers are not always visible. Direct and indirect contact with live wires, both overhead and underground, pose a dangerous threat to workers. Use of proper and effective equipment could limit and even eliminate the risks associated with electricity.

Getting Struck by a Vehicle: Construction zone accidents are frequent because employees are focused on work tasks and often do not pay close attention to passing vehicles. Also, curious drivers have tendencies to watch workers on the roadways.

Forklift Accidents: Forklift accidents kill hundreds of workers each year and injure thousands more. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor documented many fatal workplace accidents involving forklifts, including workers struck and killed by moving forklifts, and workers killed when forklifts tipped over.

Why is Driving a Forklift Dangerous?

Forklift accidents are one of the most common types of accidents involving heavy equipment in the construction industry. To begin with, forklifts can weigh up to three times more than the average car. Moreover, they are built heavier in the rear in order to counterbalance the loads carried on the front. Driving a forklift safely requires training and skill. Some of the specific risks associated with driving a forklift includes the following:

Tipping Over: Overturning accounts for about one in four forklift accidents each year. This can happen when a forklift is driven up or down a steep incline or is improperly loaded.

Rear Swinging: Forklifts are steered by the back wheels. When the back wheels turn, the rear engine compartment moves with it. Unskilled operators may unintentionally swing the rear of a forklift into coworkers or objects.

Runaway Forklift: In addition to engaging brakes when not in operation, drivers should chock the wheels of a forklift to keep them from moving when not in operation. Forklifts can easily move when left unaccompanied.

Many forklift accidents cause severe injuries, including amputations, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries.

What Causes Forklift Accidents?

There are a number of causes of forklift accidents. Some of the most common causes include:

Operator Inattention: Operators need to pay attention and account for the distance needed to safely drive by people or objects. Driving too fast, driving carelessly up a steep incline, or swinging wildly can cause an accident.

Unstable Load: If a forklift is overloaded or improperly loaded, the inventory can slip off and destabilize the vehicle.

Failure to Maintain Equipment: If the brakes or other components are not properly maintained, a forklift can breakdown unexpectedly, causing loads to dislodge.

Lack of Training: Employers are responsible for training forklift operators. Failing to do so dramatically increases the risk of accidents.

How Can a Construction Site Accident be Prevented?

Construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that one in five workplace deaths involved construction workers.

Some steps that can be taken to prevent a work accident include:

  • Employers offering proper training to employees prior to allowing them to work on sites.
  • Holding frequent meetings that focus more on the safety of the workers, and the possible dangers involved in each specific worksite.
  • Provision and proper use of protective gear and clothing.
  • Maintaining equipment and tools.

What Should I Do After I am Hurt on a Construction Site?

When a worker is injured on the job, certain steps should be taken to ensure compensation. The employee should do the following:

Why is it Important to Hire a Lawyer After a Construction Accident?

Both residential and commercial construction site accidents are dangerous. If a person is injured on a construction site, they could incur serious injuries.

Unfortunately, injuries can be costly, so it is important to speak to a lawyer after receiving necessary medical attention. A lawyer will make sure their client’s rights are protected so that they receive proper compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses.

Highland Park Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Protect Clients Injured in Construction Site Accidents

Construction zones are often hazardous, leading to serious injuries. If you were hurt on a construction site, contact one of our Highland Park construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr right away. We help those injured on construction sites. Complete our online form or call us at 732-249-4000 for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

What is Facet Joint Syndrome?

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Facet joint syndrome is a degenerative arthritic condition in the spine where the cartilage between the joints wears down and causes severe pain in the back and neck. Facet joint syndrome is caused by many factors, including stress on the spine caused by repetitive movements. Workers in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and office environments can become victims of facet joint syndrome when repetitive tasks are part of their daily work responsibilities.

What are the Symptoms of Facet Joint Syndrome?

Pain and decreased mobility and stiffness are the leading symptoms of facet joint syndrome. Unfortunately, by the time a victim seeks help from a medical professional, damage to the joints is already done. Inflammation in the joints, bone rubbing, and nerve damage is most often in its advanced stages at the time of diagnosis.

Facet joint syndrome typically affects people between 40 and 70 years of age. This arthritic condition can also be caused by a combination of repetitive tasks, obesity, poor posture, and spinal injuries. When the disorder is advanced, mobility and pain issues can significantly reduce a person’s ability to work.

Treatment for Facet Joint Syndrome

Treatment for facet joint syndrome should begin immediately upon diagnosis. The common course of treatment includes:

  • Adjustments to posture
  • Work environment accommodations to support proper spinal position
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises to strengthen leg, back, and abdominal muscles
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Mechanical bracing
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Steroid joint injections
  • Nerve block
  • Radio frequency ablation
  • Surgery

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

When a worker suffers an injury or illness due to an accident, exposure to a toxic work environment, or from repetitive movements, Workers’ Compensation benefits can provide much needed compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Facet joint syndrome resulting from repetitive tasks required by a worker’s job duties will most likely be covered under Workers’ Compensation insurance, so long as the victim can provide medical evidence that the condition was the direct result of their job duties.

In some cases, Workers’ Compensation benefits can be initially denied. This does not mean that benefits will not be provided. Workers that have been denied benefits can appeal the decision and claim the benefits they deserve. Consulting with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can ensure that the legal rights of the victim are protected and that they claim the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to receive.

Piscataway Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Workers Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you were diagnosed with facet joint syndrome, contact the Piscataway Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr today. We will review your case and fight for the benefits you rightfully deserve. Call us at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Power Tool Injuries

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Power tools can cause serious injuries and even death when users do not follow proper safety or operating instructions or when defective power tools do not operate properly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports close to one million power tool injuries and 200 deaths occur each year among construction workers, carpenters, roofers, landscapers, auto mechanics, electricians, and plumbers. Negligent power tool manufacturers, distributors, and construction companies can be held liable for power tool injuries.

Common Types of Power Tools

The most common types of power tools used in the construction industry include:

  • Power drills
  • Chainsaws, circular saws, jigsaws, miter saws, and concrete saws
  • Power wrenches
  • Nail guns and staple guns
  • Jackhammers
  • Chippers
  • Sanders
  • Chisels
  • Hydraulic jacks and airlifts
  • Compressors
  • Ceramic tile cutters
  • Lathes
  • Power washers
  • Floor sanders
  • Rotary tillers

Common Types of Power Tool Injuries

The most common types of power tool injuries include:

  • Cuts, lacerations, and bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Eye injuries and blindness
  • Hearing loss
  • Puncture wounds
  • Electrocution
  • Facial, head, and neck injuries
  • Spinal and back injuries
  • Amputations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Brain injury

Who is Liable for a Power Tool Injury?

Power tool injuries can result in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, physical and cognitive rehabilitation, prescription medications, temporary or permanent disabilities, and lost wages. Compensation for these costs, including punitive and compensatory damages, can be recovered in several ways.

  • Personal Injury and Third-Party Lawsuits: Recovery for medical bills and lost wages, like punitive and compensatory damages, can be recovered in these lawsuits. Victims of work-related power tool injuries caused by negligence can hold their employer or third-parties liable for their injuries. Negligence can include improper training, inefficient personal protective equipment, lack of routine inspections, and poor maintenance of equipment.
  • Product Liability Claims: When a power tool is defective in design, manufacture, or operation, injured victims can claim compensation through product liability claims. Compensation can be claimed for marketing defects like failing to warn consumers of risks associated power tools and failure to provide proper safety and handling instructions.

Workers’ Compensation: When power tool injuries are work related, victims can claim Workers’ Compensation benefits to cover medical bills and a portion of lost wages. Workers give up their right to sue their employer when they claim this benefit.

Evidence of Negligence

Many large manufacturing companies and employers have legal teams dedicated to fight these claims, but strong evidence is needed to prove negligence. Information that is vital for a successful claim includes detailed medical records, witness testimonies, photos or videos of the power tools responsible for injuries, and the documentation for lost wages. The plaintiff will have to prove that the manufacturer or distributor was negligent in providing a safe product and that there was a breach in the manufacturer’s duty of care to the consumer that resulted in the victim’s injuries and damages.

New Brunswick Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Victims of Power Tool Injuries

If you or someone you know has been injured by a power tool, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced New Brunswick construction accident lawyers at Law Offices ofHarold J. Gerr will advocate for your rights. Contact us online or call us at 732-249-4600 for a free consultation regarding your potential case. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we also serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Nail Gun Injuries on Construction Sites

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New Brunswick construction accident lawyers help victims of nail gun injuries.Pneumatic nail guns save time and energy on construction jobs, but these high-powered tools can cause catastrophic and fatal injuries when nail gun accidents happen. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are close to 40,000 nail gun injuries reported each year in the United States, making nail guns the second most dangerous tool in the construction industry.

Common Causes of Nail Gun Injuries

Construction workers in the United States face a high risk of serious job-related injuries. Framing and sheathing, roofing, exterior siding, carpentry, woodworking, and finishing workers are at the highest risk for nail gun injuries. The most common causes of construction nail gun injuries include:

  • Accidental discharge of the nail gun
  • Penetration of a nail through a wood surface
  • Ricocheting nails
  • Misfires and discharge of nails outside of the intended target
  • Nail positioning
  • Ineffective use of safety mechanisms
  • Disabling safety features on a nail gun
  • Nail gun operator distraction
  • Failure to routinely inspect and maintain nail gun
  • Slippery work surfaces
  • Slip and falls while using a nail gun
  • Lack of proper operator training
  • Disregard for safety procedures when using a nail gun

Most nail gun accidents on construction sites can be prevented with attention to safety procedures and with proper training for nail gun operators. Personal protective equipment, such as eye shields, rubber gripped work gloves, and steel toe boots can help reduce the likelihood and severity of nail gun injuries.

Common Types of Nail Gun Injuries

Anytime a nail gun accident occurs, the risk for serious and sometimes fatal injuries is high. A pneumatic nail gun can discharge nails at speeds of 1,400 feet per second. The impact of a nail on a human body is devastating, causing serious and often fatal injuries. The most common types of nail gun injuries include:

  • Nails penetrating skin
  • Broken bones resulting from nail penetration
  • Wound infections
  • Eye injuries and blindness
  • Mouth and dental injuries
  • Sprains related to force or improper handling of a nail gun
  • Muscular and skeletal injuries due to high-powered equipment
  • Nerve damage and repetitive stress injuries
  • Hand injuries, including joint disorders and dislocation of fingers
  • Leg and feet injuries
  • Spinal injuries and paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Hearing loss
  • Burns from overheated equipment and electrical components

Nail gun injuries can be prevented with proper training and attention to safety procedures. Construction company owners and general contractors are mandated by OSHA to provide proper training for their workers, provide personal protective equipment suitable for assigned tasks, and establish safety procedures for operating construction equipment and tools, such as pneumatic nail guns. Failure to comply with these mandates can leave construction company owners liable for negligence.

New Brunswick Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims of Nail Gun Injuries Claim Compensation

If you were injured by a nail gun accident on a construction site, call the New Brunswick construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Spinal Cord Injuries in Construction Accidents

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Piscataway construction accident lawyers represent those suffering with spinal cord injuries.The construction industry is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States with over 5,000 fatalities reported each year. That is an average of 14 construction workers being dying on the job every day. Catastrophic injuries leave many survivors with life-altering disabilities. Spinal cord injuries are the most devastating of all construction accident injuries.

Falls from elevated surfaces, struck-by accidents, electrocution, and caught-in or -between accidents cause the majority of deaths and catastrophic injuries to construction workers. Known as the “Fatal Four,” these situations lead to serious and often debilitating spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord is severed, broken, or crushed, victims are left with lifelong pain and debilitating disabilities.

Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Construction Accidents

A spinal cord injury can occur when the neck, shoulders, back, or legs are injured. The most common types of construction accidents causing these injuries include:

  • Falls: Falls from elevated surfaces are the leading cause of serious and fatal construction accidents. Scaffolds, ladders, and high rise surfaces such as roofs and multi-storied buildings are common work areas for construction workers. Falls from these elevated surfaces often result in spinal cord injuries when workers slip, trip, or lose their balance while working. The impact of hitting the hard surface below can easily cause spinal fractures, crushed vertebrate, and head and neck injuries.
  • Struck-By Accidents: Cranes transporting heavy steel beams, long wooden planks on forklifts, large construction vehicles, front loaders, and dump trucks moving large items from place to place put construction workers in serious danger of being struck by heavy objects. When this happens, spinal cord injuries are common. Head, neck, shoulder, and back injuries can result when these massive objects strike unsuspecting workers.
  • Caught-Between Objects: When construction workers are caught between heavy equipment, concrete surfaces, and steel beams, spinal cord injuries often happen. When bones in the neck, shoulders, back, and chest area are crushed or fractured, injuries to the spinal cord can result, causing significant damage to nerves and vertebrate.
  • Electrocution: Electrical accidents can happen anytime workers are exposed to live electrical circuits and wires. Working high above the ground close to overhead wires cause many construction workers to suffer electrocution. To add to the devastating injuries that come with electrocution, spinal cord injuries often result when workers fall from elevated surfaces when the accident occurs.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disabilities

Spinal cord injuries can affect the neck, shoulders, nerves, and vertebrates in the spinal column. When these types of injuries occur, victims suffer a multitude of disabilities, which include:

  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage resulting in extreme pain and limited mobility
  • Herniated discs
  • Reduced or lost use of movement in the extremities
  • Respiratory distress
  • Urinary and bowel incontinence
  • Immune disorders
  • Autonomic function impairment such as blood pressure and body temperature regulation
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Depression and anxiety

A spinal cord injury is never a minor condition. Temporary and often permanent disabilities are common with this type of injury, causing victims to have limited mobility that can significantly affect their ability to work and live independently.

Piscataway Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Those Suffering With Spinal Cord Injuries

If you have been injured in a construction accident, call the Piscataway construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600, or 732-249-4600, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Falls on Construction Sites Still a Major Concern

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New Brunswick construction accident lawyers advocate for construction worker safety. Slip and fall accidents among those in the construction industry remain a major concern despite increased safety regulations and mandates for personal protective safety equipment and comprehensive training. Serious injuries and fatalities occur at an alarming rate when workers fall from elevated platforms, scaffolding, and ladders. Injuries also happen when workers fall into other objects and into deep trenches.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that 35 percent of all work-related fatalities result from fall accidents. Data from the report suggests that the lack of safety equipment and proper training are the main obstacles to preventing these deaths. Fifty-four percent of workers fell to their death because they did not have a personal fall arrest system in place, and 20 percent died within the first two months of a new work assignment.

Causes of Fall Accidents in the Construction Industry

The majority of fall accidents that occur in the construction industry can be prevented by following safety protocols and providing worker training. The most common causes of fall accidents on a construction site include:

  • Scaffolding malfunctions
  • Lack of guardrails on platforms
  • Poorly maintained and broken stairs
  • Debris in walkways
  • Uneven and unstable surfaces
  • Slippery floors
  • Lack of personal protective equipment

While the most serious injuries occur with falls from highly elevated surfaces, even a fall from a six-foot drop can lead to catastrophic injury or death. Brain injuries, broken bones, back and spinal injuries, cuts, lacerations, and internal organ damage are commonly associated with fall accidents.

Preventing Fall Accidents in the Construction Industry

Employers are legally responsible to provide personal protective safety equipment to all workers and ensure that all construction equipment and work surfaces are routinely inspected and properly maintained. Failure to do so can result in citations and fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA mandates and enforces safety requirements designed to protect workers and keep the workplace free from unnecessary hazards.

Preventive safety measures that can reduce the number of serious and fatal fall accidents on a construction site include:

  • Comprehensive safety training programs for all employees
  • Routine safety meetings to reinforce preventive measures
  • Access to personal protective safety clothing and equipment
  • Clean work areas with walkways that are clear of debris
  • Regular inspection and maintenance of stairways, scaffolds, ladders, tools, and machinery
  • Installation of guardrails, toe boards, screens, and nets to prevent and break falls
  • Workplace safety plans that comply with OSHA safety standards
  • Reporting of unsafe working conditions

OSHA safety campaigns, online resources, and educational materials are available for employers and workers to access and utilize. Violations should be reported to OSHA immediately to ensure the safety of all workers.

New Brunswick Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Construction Worker Safety

If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction fall accident, call the New Brunswick construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600, or 732-249-4600, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Elevator Accidents and Construction Workers

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Piscataway construction accident lawyers advocate for injured workers.Construction sites are full of dangerous hazards for the workers who make their living there and elevators can be one of those hazards. Elevator accidents can leave workers severely injured and can even be fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year, 17,000 people are injured in accidents involving elevators and escalators and 30 people die. Almost half of these fatalities are construction worker deaths that occur above or inside the elevator shaft.

Construction sites often involve the installation of elevators and workers also need to use on-site industrial elevators to reach their work zones. Injuries can occur both during construction of elevators or while using an on-site elevator that has not been properly maintained. Common sources of construction site elevator injuries include:

  • Falls – More than half of all construction worker deaths occur from falls into an exposed elevator shaft
  • Mechanical failure of the pulley system
  • Exceeding the maximum allowed load
  • Lack of safety equipment (harnesses and nets) while working near elevator shafts
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Caught in/between accidents involving elevator doors or other moving parts

Even when elevator accidents are not fatal, construction workers can be severely hurt and left to deal with the long-term trauma of injuries such as:

  • Head and neck injuries including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Bruises and lacerations

Some of these may require extensive treatment with expensive hospital stays and lengthy rehabilitation afterwards. Even after an initial recovery, the long-term damage can affect a worker’s ability to earn or even continue in the same occupation.

Preventing Elevator Accidents on Construction Sites

Elevator accidents are easily prevented when employers take the proper safety precautions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has clear safety regulations regarding elevators on construction sites. Besides clearly marking and securing exposed elevator shafts, employers also have an obligation to properly train workers about the dangers of working near or on an elevator. Other OSHA requirements include:

  • Posting maximum load limits clearly and making sure they are not exceeded
  • Providing safety harnesses and nets to any workers near an elevator shaft that is higher than six feet
  • Regular inspection and maintenance of on-site elevators and the use of only qualified elevator repairmen to perform these jobs and make repairs
  • Outfitting elevator shafts with guard rail systems
  • Installing elevators according to manufacturer instructions

Employers who fail to use proper elevator safety procedures put workers at risk. While Workers’ Compensation may help cover some of the costs for construction workers injured in an elevator accident, the catastrophic effects for some families may require that the responsible party be held liable for the true damage caused by these terrible and preventable accidents.

Piscataway Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Injured Workers

Contact a Piscataway construction accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr if you have been injured in an elevator accident on your job site. We will fight to hold responsible parties accountable and recover the compensation you deserve. Call 732-249-4600 or 877-294-4600 for a free consultation or contact us online. Located in Highland Park, we help injured workers across the state of New Jersey, including those in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Construction Workers and Electrocution Accidents

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Highland Park construction accident lawyers advocate for electrocuted workers.The risk of electrocution for construction workers is high and is the fourth leading cause of death in construction accidents. Construction workers are killed annually by electrocution each year in the United States. Electricians, ironworkers, roofers, HVAC technicians, refrigeration mechanics, carpenters, and equipment operators face a serious threat of encountering electrical hazards during their work.

Common Causes of Electrical Accidents

A construction site is a busy and dangerous place. Heavy machinery, scaffolding, ladders, power equipment, construction vehicles, and dangerous weather conditions pose serious risks to construction workers each day. The number of fatal electrocutions is astounding, but what makes these figures even more disturbing is that most accidents can be prevented. The National Fire Protection Association conducted an analysis that found construction workers accounted for 68 percent of electrocution fatalities. The most common causes of electrocution and electrical accidents in the construction industry include:

  • Contact with Overhead Power Lines and Electrical Transformers: When construction workers are working at high elevations, the risk of meeting power lines increases dramatically. Even the most conscientious and safety-minded construction worker can accidentally meet an overhead wire that can kill them instantly.
  • Lack of Proper Training: One of the easiest ways to reduce the number of electrical accidents that happen on construction sites is to ensure that all workers are properly trained on the hazards associated with electricity. Workers must be trained to understand how electricity travels, how it is conducted, and how to properly handle electrical equipment to protect themselves from electrocution and injury.
  • Failure to Wear Personal Protective Equipment: All employers and construction contractors are obligated to supply their construction workers with proper personal protective equipment to reduce their risk of electrocution. Rubber soled shoes, insulated gloves, non-conductive clothing, matting, blankets, and line hoses can help prevent serious injury and death when working with electrical equipment and components.
  • Damaged or Poorly Maintained Electric Tools: Regular inspection and proper maintenance of electric tools, such as nail guns, staple guns, and power saws can help prevent serious accidents. Cords should be inspected for small tears and breaks, electrical components need to be properly maintained, and safety features on power tools should always be used.
  • Lack of Lock Out/Tag Out Procedures: Lock Out/Tag Out procedures should be posted by all power equipment. Safety features should be identified, and emergency response procedures should be available for review. All construction workers should be trained on the proper use of these safety features.
  • Storing and Using Conductive Equipment by Power Lines: Many electrocutions occur when electricity is conducted by metal beams, equipment, tools, and ladders. Keep this type of conductive equipment away from overhead power lines and live electrical circuits.

Highland Park Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Construction Worker Safety

Prevention is key to reducing the risk of electrical injuries and death on construction sites. If you have been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Highland Park construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Preventing Construction Worker Fatigue

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Highland Park construction accident lawyers advocate for construction worker safety.Construction work is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States and requires long hours and sustained physical exertion, often in extreme weather conditions. When construction workers suffer from fatigue on the job, their risk for serious and often fatal injuries is dramatically increased. Fatigue leads to poor judgment, lack of focus, dizziness, and muscle weakness.

Causes of Construction Worker Fatigue

Identifying the reasons why a construction worker is fatigued is essential to preventing construction accidents. Some of the most common causes of fatigue in this industry include:

  • Extended work hours
  • Shift work
  • Sustained mental effort and concentration
  • Repetitive physical tasks
  • Physical exertion
  • Working in extreme heat or cold
  • Poor sleep quality or lack of sleep
  • Poor diet
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications

Any one of these factors can cause a construction worker to feel fatigued on the job, but a combination of these factors can be fatal. Poor diet combined with alcohol or recreational drug use, and a lack of quality sleep can significantly impair a worker.

Shift work and overtime required to meet deadlines in the construction industry can contribute to worker fatigue. Those that choose to pick up an extra shift overnight or extend their day hours suffer the effects of fatigue on their regular shift. Extreme hot and cold temperatures during a work shift can also be hard on the body. In extremely hot weather, dehydration and heat stroke can lead to medical situations while frostbite and hypothermia can result from extremely cold temperatures.

Prevention Techniques

Limiting the factors that contribute to construction worker fatigue can lower the risk of serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Develop a Fatigue Management Plan: Employers need to properly train construction workers to recognize the signs of fatigue and the dangers associated with it. The plan should include measures to monitor worker fatigue, incorporate frequent breaks in the workday, and supply access to water and climate-controlled areas where workers can ease the stress on their body.

Pay Close Attention to Work Schedules and Shift Work: Work schedules need to be consistent, avoiding frequent changes between various shifts. Workers that are scheduled for day and night shifts simultaneously have a harder time obtaining quality sleep. Overtime should also be limited to avoid fatigue. While some workers may be motivated to take on extra hours to supplement their income, the risks associated with worker fatigue could result in lost wages.

Monitor Worker Absences and Lateness

Patterns of missed work and lateness can be signals that a worker’s personal life is causing fatigue on the job. Late nights, alcohol, and recreational drug use, or family problems can all prevent a worker from getting proper rest. Offering behavioral health services, such as counseling, rehabilitation programs, and family leave can help workers suffering from personal problems be more effective on the job.

Highland Park Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Construction Worker Safety

If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction accident, call the Highland Park construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are in Highland Park, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Causes of Construction Site Accidents

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Piscataway construction accident lawyers discuss causes of accidents on sites.Construction sites create some of the most dangerous working environments in America. Approximately 20 percent of workplace fatalities occur in the construction industry. Occupational hazards for construction workers can result in serious physical injuries ranging from broken bones and amputations to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and loss of vision. By becoming aware of the most common causes of construction site accidents, construction workers can better protect themselves from these injuries.

Falling from Heights

With much of construction taking place at high elevations, it is no surprise the most common construction site accident is falling from scaffolding, roofs, or ladders. Approximately 35 percent of construction worker fatalities result from construction worker falls. To avoid falling, construction workers should be vigilant of slippery surfaces, holes in floors, unsecured ladders, unmarked wall openings, unstable walking surfaces, and cluttered work spaces.

Being Struck or Crushed by an Object

Other common causes of construction site accidents are being struck by a falling or improperly secured object. Objects falling onto construction workers or striking construction workers from behind can cause serious bodily injuries. When a construction worker is stuck between large vehicles, concrete walls, or construction materials, workers can be crushed.

Malfunctioning Machinery and Equipment

Faulty construction equipment and machinery can result in construction site accidents. Malfunctioning forklifts, overturned dumpsters, faulty nail guns or pressure tools, and equipment without safety guards can result in physical injuries. Construction equipment and machinery always needs to be properly maintained and construction workers must receive proper training before operating any machinery or equipment.

Collapsing Trenches or Buildings

Buildings in the process of being constructed or demolished and trenches used in constructing foundations may collapse, dangerously trapping the workers inside.

Toxic Exposures

Certain construction sites pose unique risks for toxic exposure. Soil contaminants and high lead levels can be especially dangerous for construction workers who, in the past, accounted for 16 percent of elevated blood level cases.

Fire and Electrocution Hazards

The presence of exposed wiring, overhead power lines, and faulty electrical connections at building sites are fire hazards that can lead to a construction site accident. Leaking gas pipes can cause explosions and fires, endangering the lives of construction workers. Electrocutions frequently occur on construction sites with these types of unprotected fire hazards. Over 10 percent of construction site fatalities are the result of an electrocution.

Weather Conditions

Construction workers may experience physical injuries resulting from extreme hot or cold weather conditions. Heat stress, hypothermia, and frostbite are common injuries resulting from weather conditions. Workers who fail to wear the proper weather-related protective gear, including gloves, sunglasses, and thermal clothing, are particularly vulnerable to injuries.

Physical Stresses

The physical nature of construction work places construction workers at a high risk for overexertion and repetitive motion injuries, such as carpel tunnel syndrome. When a construction worker suffers physical stress from the overuse of muscles or joints, permanent bodily damage can result. The constant inhaling of coal dust or other dangerous fibers at construction sites can cause serious respiratory diseases, such as asbestosis, black lung, and silicosis.

Piscataway Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Assist Individuals Injured on Construction Sites

If you or a loved one has been injured at a construction site, compensation may be available. At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, our experienced Piscataway construction accident lawyers proudly serve construction site accident victims throughout New Jersey. Call us today to schedule your free confidential consultation at 732-249-4600 or submit an online inquiry form. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.