Common Construction Site Injuries
Construction sites are among the most dangerous places for workers. With so much going on, and so many moving parts, the potential for injury lurks around every corner. Construction site injuries can lead to permanent disability, partial or full paralysis, or even death depending on their nature and severity. According to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the so-called ‘Fatal Four’ construction site accidents result in over 631 deaths every year in the United States. Here’s what you need to know about the most common construction site injuries.
Falls are the leading injury on construction fatalities. Of the 991 deaths on construction sites in 2016, 384 were caused by falls. This equates to 38.7 percent of all construction fatalities. Some of the most common locations for falls on construction sites include falling:
- From equipment
- Off of a building
- Into a shaft or trench
- From scaffolding
In order to avoid falls on construction sites, it is imperative that workers use the proper OSHA mandated fall protection, including scaffolds, barrier guards, railings, harnesses and ropes. In addition, all workers should have available all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize any injury from falling.
Struck by an Object
Perhaps the most common type of construction site injury is being struck by an object. Of the 991 recorded fatalities in construction in 2016, 93 were due to a person being struck by an object at a construction site. These 93 fatalities accounted for 9.4 percent of all construction-related deaths in 2016. Construction workers may be struck by nearly any type of object while on the job, including:
- Falling debris and materials
- Swinging, swaying or moving equipment.
- Collapsing structures.
To avoid severe injuries, workers should always wear the proper protective safety equipment, including a helmet and goggles, as well as being on the lookout for items that could possibly fall from above.
Electrocution resulted in 82 deaths on construction sites in 2016, or 8.3 percent of all construction deaths that year. Fortunately, not all electrocution injuries lead to fatalities, but non-fatal electrocution can still cause severe injuries to those injured. In order to avoid electrocution, workers should always wear the protective equipment supplied by their employer (including insulated equipment and footwear with rubber soles), use lockout and tag procedures when dealing with electrified equipment, de-energize any construction equipment that could provide electric shock, and always maintain a safe distance from equipment that is electrified.
Becoming Trapped Between Machinery or Objects
Construction workers are often injured when they become caught in or trapped between machinery, equipment, vehicles or other objects. This may also include those construction workers who have become trapped in collapsed structures. This type of injury resulted in 72 deaths in 2016, or 7.3 percent of all construction deaths that year. For workers to avoid such injuries or fatalities, they should always be aware of their surroundings, on the lookout for potential collapse zones, and should never place themselves in between pieces of machinery.
New Jersey Law
New Jersey law makes General Contractors responsible to manage safety on the jobsite. This means that the General Contractor can be held liable even when the danger is caused by one of its subcontractors. Managing safety properly includes:
- Requiring all subcontractors to incorporate safety equipment into their bid proposal for the job;
- Holding pre-construction meetings with contractors and subcontractors to coordinate the workflow and ensure safe practices;
- Holding on the job “toolbox” meetings to ensure workers are following safe practices; and
- Conducting daily inspections to uncover hazards.
Safe construction practices are contained in the OSHA regulations. Failure of a contractor to adhere to the OSHA standards is evidence of negligence.
If You Are Injured on a Construction Site, Call Rossetti & DeVoto Today
Injuries on a construction site are often catastrophic and life-changing and can cause untold pain and suffering – both physically and mentally -as well as lost wages and employment. At Rossetti & DeVoto P.C., we’ve successfully represented hundreds of individuals who were the victims of injuries on construction sites. We have the resources necessary to battle large general contractors and have worked with many of the best experts in the country in winning these cases. We work tirelessly for our clients and aggressively fight for their rights in order to get the best result. If you suffer an accident or injury while working at a construction site or industrial job site, give us a call today at 844-263-6260 to speak to a member of our experienced and knowledgeable legal team.