Construction sites are one of the most hazardous workplace that one could be in. This happens particularly when the safety precautions are not properly observed and there has been an inconsistent compliance with the safety standards. As a result of this, workers’ compensation claims are surprisingly common.
What is a Construction Accident?
Construction accidents are damages and injuries sustained by a person while in the construction. This accident usually occurs while the site is undergoing a process of building, improving, repairing, demolishing or constructing an infrastructure or a facility. The results of which may range from property damage to personal injuries.
What are the most common causes of Construction Accidents?
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the four top causes of construction worker deaths each year are falls, struck by an object, electrocutions and caught in/between. In fact, in 2015, 264 out of 937 total construction worker deaths is caused by falls. Struck by an object cause is at 9.6% while electrocutions are at 8.6% and caught in/between cause is just a little lower, 7.2%. There are more causes of a construction accident.
Here are the Top Sources of construction Accident Injuries or Illness
Parts and Materials
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 Survey a total of 14,240 cases were reported that year. Parts and building materials like metal, pipes, ducts, tubing, wood, nails and screw were the major sources. For this reason, workers must be mindful of the surroundings. Always wear protective equipment and strictly follow procedures and depower equipment when not in use.
Worker Motion or Position
The reported number of this self-inflicted accident last 2015 is a total of 11,010 cases. This is an accident where the worker received injuries by themselves which was caused by bodily motion. Movements such as walking, climbing, bending etc. can be dangerous when force is overexerted. That is why workers are advised to stretch out before working and avoid carrying heavy objects especially when climbing.
Losing focus or getting distracted at work can be a disaster. In 2015, accidents caused by hand tools has 9,640 cases reported. Both non-powered and powered hand tools need focused attention. Always use tools properly and use it for the designated purpose. Lastly, inspect the tools before using to ensure they are in good condition.
Floors, Walkways or Ground Surfaces
Slipping/tripping usually happens in bad environment condition. Wet floors, debris, elevated areas, etc. can be dangerous on construction sites. Last 2015, there are 8,540 cases reported by which the main culprits are, floors, stairs, escalators and simply walking. Generally speaking, it is a basic instinct to watch where you’re going and wear non-skin footwear. Be mindful of any signage or uneven surfaces.
Vehicles and Machinery
The major sources of accidents on construction sites are the highway vehicles like freight hauling trucks and pickups. While machinery like excavators like backhoes and bulldozers were next in line. A total of 10, 370 cases were reported for vehicle and machinery accidents on 2015. To prevent these accidents from occurring, make sure that drivers or operators are licensed and properly trained. Also, make sure that operators can see other workers working around the vehicle or machinery.
Contact with Objects
The leading event in this list is workers being struck with objects or equipment. 26,550 total number of cases reported on 2015 with 6,710 being injured by handheld object/equipment.
That is why as a tip, observe proper protective gears on-site and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing. Baggy clothing could get caught in running equipment which leads to serious injuries. Lastly, be aware of your surroundings and areas where overhead work is being done. Netting or tool lanyards must be on these areas in case of an unprecedented event.
Working on high buildings like window cleaning or putting up a billboard is very dangerous. The management must provide fall protection when working at height. Before starting your work, inspect all personal arrest systems to make sure harnesses and other devices are in good working orders.
It is a strenuous work ins construction industry. Overexertion is quite common in construction works’ daily task. That is why lifting heavier objects is not recommended especially without wearing back brace. Moreover, this repetitive liftings or motions can be exhausting. Take frequent breaks and avoid neglecting pains.
Roadway incidents and vehicle collisions are also considered as a construction accident. It mostly happens in work zones or off the road like on construction sites. It is not only workers that are victims of this accidents. A total of 790 injuries from pedestrians being struck by work vehicles were reported in 2015.
Those who drive big vehicles or trucks must always obey traffic rules and weight limits. In work zones, spotters must be available to help notify drivers of workers. Signage and barricades must also be provided in work zones.
To sum it up, proper safety training is the number one key to reduce and prevent these accidents. The ultimate cause of construction accidents is negligence of workers and management. Along with it are defective equipment and poorly designed machinery. It is not only the workers that are responsible but also the management's responsibility to provide licensed equipment and machinery.
The Consequences: Common Injuries, treatment and diagnosis.
Injuries gained from construction accidents can lead to expensive medical care. As a matter of fact, it is a heavy baggage for the family and a loss of income and earning ability. It is no doubt that injury gained in these accidents is more likely to affect a victim in the long run, financially and in health.
Here are the list injuries gained from construction accidents:
- Vision Injury
- Muscle and bone injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Illness caused by exposure to toxic chemicals
- Head and brain injury
These are just the tip of the list of injuries you can get from construction accidents. In worst case scenario, injuries can be fatal and deadly.
Compensation for Damages
Any injury sustained while doing your job is covered by workers’ compensation benefit. Whether it happened on-site, or any workplace-related that you had to be.
Even if your workplace injury is due to your negligence as long as you are not violating company policy or not intoxicated, you can get compensation.
Worker’s compensation covers payment of the medical costs, lost wages, and disability benefit. In case that you do not have the ability to work and switch to a lower paying job, you may receive partial disability benefits.
Thus, in the event that death occurs, the dependents can receive compensation. Moreover, in this event, workers can only get compensation for a work injury and cannot sue the employer.
In addition, you can get a third-party lawsuit claim if someone other than your employer like an architect’s negligence. If the cause of an accident is defective tools or machine, you may also file for a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Third-party lawsuit claims let you receive compensation not included through workers’ compensation. An example is the mentioned above defective tools or machine. However, further evidence is needed to prove this claim.
Seek Legal Help
If you or someone you know is hurt in a construction accident, seek legal help from professionals. They will help you determine whether to file for a workers’ compensation or third-party liability claim (or both). Your lawyer will also help deal with the insurer if you weren’t able to receive claims or have a medical bill dispute.
There are a lot of services that professional lawyers can provide to clients. Look for a specialized lawyer and set an appointment immediately.