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.
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.
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.
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.