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.