As a safety conscious, responsible construction worker, you understand the dangers of your work site. You take the proper precautions, wear the required safety equipment and never take unnecessary risks that violate site safety protocols.
Regrettably, you can still end up suffering a significant injury while on the job, even if you may have done everything right. Despite the fact that construction sites are well known as dangerous places, this common knowledge doesn’t clear the site supervisors from their responsibility to keep their employees safe. And it doesn’t mean you lose your right to seek justice should you get hurt.
Types of Injuries Related to Construction Site Accidents
A construction site accident can be extremely serious. The following is a list of some of the types of severe injuries workers can sustain while on the job:
- Head Injuries
- Brain injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Severe Spinal Trauma
- Fractured, Broken or Crushed Bones
- Loss of Limbs
- Loss of Fingers or Toes
- Organ Damage
- Internal Bleeding
- Impalement to the Body
- Permanent Disability
- Wrongful Death
Often, in these cases, the medical bills are large and the injuries result in a long period of disability. Although worker's compensation may pay for some of the medical bills and lost earnings, frequently it fails to adequately compensate an injured worker for permanent losses and/or permanent disability.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Injured?
Your well-being and health should be considered the foremost concern when you have been injured. As with any severe injury, it is essential that you seek prompt medical attention.
If you sustained your injuries while on the job, then you should be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Report your injury to your employer and, if physically able, take note of the names and contact information of those who witnessed the accident that caused your injuries. At this stage it is warranted to contact a personal injury attorney who has the compassion, skill, and experience to be by your side and become your advocate.
Crucial Steps to Be Taken Right Away
Immediate investigation and preservation of evidence is a critical element in a construction site injury case. The investigation should involve a thorough examination of the scene where the accident took place. Often times, it is necessary to get court orders to preserve evidence that is found on the construction site. In addition, an investigator should be contacted to interview any and all witnesses who were at the scene.
Another essential step is to establish contact with the investigating authorities, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The issue of who is responsible for ensuring compliance with OSHA regulations often turns on who was in control of the job site or job activity when the employee was injured. In addition to identifying all general contractors and subcontractors, it can be pertinent to identify all the material suppliers that relate to the job site at the time of the accident.
How Can the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm Help?
The O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm is ready to help if you or a loved one is severely injured in a construction site accident. With a quarter-century of experience in successfully recovering millions of dollars for clients and achieving the highest possible ratings from Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo, our client-centered personal injury lawyers will provide you with skilled, focused, and result-oriented legal representation. California law limits the amount of time in which you are allowed to file a claim, so don't wait; contact the O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm at 800.722.4176 today for a free case evaluation.
RECENT CONSTRUCTION SITE ACCIDENTS VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
$2 Mil Work Site Injury
$4.2 Mil Construction Site Worker Injured
$600K Fall from a Defective Plank
$450K Faulty Crane Operator
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Examples of Construction Site Accidents
The use of underground space brings optimal solutions for urban development meeting the demands for reliable infrastructure, combined with a need for increased energy efficiency, while cities remain compact. While tunnels are built for many purposes, nearly all construction operations involve certain dangers and require extensive safety precautions. Underground environments can negatively impact workers' ability to perform the required job in a safe manner.
Whether on construction and road building sites, farms, or other types of job sites, skip loaders are intensely used to move materials from one location to another. These versatile machines feature easy maneuverability and compact design but have the potential to be very dangerous and can cause serious workplace accidents. Improper loading, such as by an inexperienced or careless loader operator, can be brutally destructive. In order to avoid skip loader accidents, employers are required to assess risks and take practical measures to protect the safety and health of their employees.
Skip loaders put workers and bystanders at risk of rollover and run-over incidents and have features that expose them to other risks of injury. Common types of accidents involve:
The Big Dig was an impressive highway infrastructure project in Boston, Massachusetts which was undertaken to alleviate chronic congestion across the city and the surrounding commuter areas and to replace the rusting elevated six-lane Central Artery. The construction work commenced in 1991 and was completed in December 2007. The Big Dig proved to be one of the most technically-challenging infrastructure developments ever carried out and a dangerous work site.
Five workers were killed during the construction process and an average of 264 injuries was reported annually to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In 2006, four concrete slabs, each weighing at least three tons, fell from the ceiling of the Big Dig tunnel on a passing car and crushed a woman to death.
Work-related accidents often occur in jobs involving construction. Statistically, approximately 20% of work-related fatalities in the private sector occur on construction sites. These events can often be attributed to different site or training flaws. Improperly stored materials are just one of the potential causes of these hazards, and can also be correlated with poor training. It is, therefore, an employer’s duty to make sure that all the employees working on the site are fully prepared for the job and aware of the safety guidelines they must follow.
Improperly stored materials are a safety hazard in a busy workplace where every employee focuses on his or her particular tasks, often neglecting what is going on around them. A wide array of accidents can take place due to materials that are negligently placed on the working site, instead of being piled or properly stacked in the designated storage area, as required.
Devastating accidents can occur when buildings collapse due to faulty construction or natural events. Unfortunately, these accidents leave behind severely injured people and, often, fatalities. Several factors might cause a building to collapse. Here is a list of the most common errors that lead to these terrible accidents:
- Foundation flaws
- Unsuitable materials
- Human mistakes
A common cause that leads to a building collapse is a weak foundation. One of the main factor considered when a new building is erected is money. Consequently, many buildings have a poor foundation which helped cut costs. The quality of the materials used in the construction of a new building is essential; the cheapest materials often prove too weak to support the load of the building. Other important factors that play a crucial role in the resistance of a building’s structure are soil solidity and the approximate weight of the building. If the load of the building exceeds its strength, the risk of collapse increases. More precisely, the more stories are added to a building that was not designed to support the heavy load, the more the risk of collapse increases. Moreover, to avoid accidents, the load of the building requires proper testing at different stages of the construction.
Finally, human mistakes can often lead to devastating consequences that sometimes go as far as seeing an entire building collapse. These mistakes can be caused by lack of experience, improper or incomplete training or the employer’s desire to reduce expenses. Many dangerous situations can be avoided if the building is thoroughly designed, quality materials are used in the construction and the people involved in the building process have the proper qualification and receive the necessary training.
Working on or with incomplete structures and buildings can be a dangerous job. Walls, roofs, and ceiling collapse that result in severe injuries or even death happen too frequently. This is the second leading cause of construction injuries in the U.S.
Poor supervision, unsafe working conditions and lack of training are all common factors that cause these collapses. Others include:
- Heavy equipment failure. Large construction machinery malfunction or operator negligence can easily result in a catastrophic accident.
- Unsafe design. A roof or a wall needs to have proper support in order to ensure its stability.
- Dangerous structural changes. These changes should not be performed without consulting an expert first, as a building may not keep its structural integrity and may lead to collapse.
- Falling materials and heavy objects which can cause a roof to collapse.
Trench collapse or cave-in accidents occur quite often nowadays, as the construction industry is seeing an unprecedented development. Statistics show that approximately 50 workers die each year as a result of trench collapse accidents.
The consequences of these incidents are often fatal. If the victims survive, there are high chances that the physical injuries they suffered lead to long-term side effects.
Preventing this type of accidents or any construction-related incident is a top priority for any company activating in this field. Therefore, certain measures should be taken in order to ensure that the risks associated with a trench collapse are avoided:
- A protective system should be implemented based on the type of excavation that is being performed
- Proper inspection should be conducted prior to the works in order to identify all the possible hazards
- Entry and exit measures should be applied for trenches that exceed a certain depth (typically – 4 feet)
- Marks should be placed strategically in order to signal that there is a trench nearby
Besides these measures, it is necessary to have skilled and properly trained people working on projects that involve trenches and good communication between all the members of the team. Any high platform, pit, or trench that presents a risk of injury when falling from it or through it needs to be adequately guarded with barricades, handrails and warning signs. Unfortunately, many construction sites overlook these safety measures, and the result is often catastrophic accidents.
All types of construction jobs are dangerous, but using crane machinery can be particularly fraught with risks. Cranes are large and heavy pieces of equipment and they can cause substantial injuries or even death.
Injuries related to crane accidents can have severe and lasting effects, leading to lifelong health concerns that substantially limit the victim’s earning potential as well as involve significant ongoing medical expenses.
To prevent accidents, OSHA has very strict regulations for crane operation that require intense safety training and preventative measures taken by employers. Failure to adhere to OSHA standards allows for the prevalence of crane accidents. Important sources of crane accidents include:
- Failure to use an appropriate crane type
- Improperly setting up the crane
- Using the crane outside of manufacturer’s specifications
- Negligence in providing a safe space around the crane
- Poor maintenance
- Lack of training or compliance with operational limits
- Operator error or inattention
- Imbalanced loads
- Improperly secured loads
- Dropped loads
- Crane tip over
Any construction site, albeit for a new building or a new highway, undoubtedly runs the risk of workers falling through holes, shafts or other openings. These can form because of poorly piled asphalt, mishandled carpentry or even natural causes, and they range from holes covered by materials that were not strong enough to support the workers to potentially fatal holes in apartment floors.
Not paying attention to such hazards can lead to dangerous situations. Laws and regulations, however, protect the employees, because the employer or a supervisor should take all measures to signal and cover up such holes.
Unprotected holes pose a massive risk for both a worker and passersby who can stumble or even fall through them. Most of the times, the accident will look like this:
- Stumble due to a hole in the ground
- Broken leg after stepping in a hole while walking
- Concussion after falling through an elevated hole
- Severed members after a fall through an unprotected hole
- Damaged internal organs after collapsing through a hole
Scaffolding accidents are a frequent occurrence at construction sites. Workers are injured both in falls from scaffolds and by being struck by objects dropped from scaffolds. If you have been injured in an accident involving a scaffold, you may be entitled to compensation beyond Workers’ Compensation.
Items falling from scaffolding and roofs can also cause serious injuries to the people standing below. These accidents can even be fatal. In fact, the U.S. government statistics list falls as the most frequent cause of death at construction sites.
As experienced trial lawyers, we have seen many ways that employers can put workers at risk of scaffold and roof accidents:
- Violating the manufacturer's instructions and assembling scaffolding incorrectly
- Failing to install required guardrail systems
- Ineffectively installing guardrails as required along platforms
- Failing to use personal fall arrest systems
- Not providing proper safety training
- Allowing workers to access scaffold platforms without enough safety training
Explosions are one of the many dangers of a typical construction site. Fires and explosions cause about three percent of all workplace accidents. The problem is that most of these accidents could have been prevented if the safety standards and regulations had been in place and respected.
To make matters worse, many materials usually found on the site can increase the devastating effects of an explosion, creating a catastrophic chain reaction. Explosions are often caused by actions that are in violation of the safety procedures, such as:
- Imprudent storage of flammable materials
- Improper ventilation
- Faulty wiring
- Underground pipelines struck by heavy machinery
- Gas leaks
Often, an explosion is caused by multiple factors and leads to a tragic outcome. Victims who survive the explosion are usually left with severe burns that require extensive treatment and cause permanent scars.
Construction workers are often exposed to electrical hazards. High voltage electrical shocks can cause serious injuries and even death. Even a low voltage of only 50 AC or 120 DC, which is much lower than common household tools use, can be enough to inflict serious damage on a worker. If the victim survives, he or she often needs costly medical treatments, and still has to live with life-altering disabilities which significantly lower the quality of life.
OSHA dictates electricity safety on a construction site through several rules and regulations that, if followed, should minimize or even eliminate the risk of electrical accidents:
- Any outdoor electrical equipment must be properly guarded and protected from accidental contact
- Any old and damaged wire should be replaced
- Only qualified personnel should perform electrical work
- Any electrical installation should have a properly designed grounding system
When we buy a power tool, while we acknowledge the risks and realize that improper usage might lead to injury, we expect that the product will be safe under the conditions of its intended use. However, this is not always the case. Many dangerous products get released on the market and end up injuring people because they are badly designed or manufactured.
When the product in question is an electric saw, the consequences of injuries are often devastating and many times, permanent.
There are three types of defects possible in product liability:
- Design defects. These involve the claim that an entire line of products is inherently dangerous, and may cause injuries when used as intended. Design defects can include lack of safety features or unforeseen dangerous effects when the tool is used in certain circumstances.
- Manufacturing defects. Even when the product itself may be safe, errors may happen in the manufacturing process which may lead to just a couple of products not reflecting the original design and malfunction when used under normal circumstances.
- Marketing defects. Failure to warn about the dangers of a product as well as giving incorrect or unclear instructions may be classified as a marketing defect and the company responsible may be held accountable.
On modern construction sites, nail guns have practically replaced the hammer. These tools use huge amounts of pressure to efficiently place nails in any desired surface, but a malfunction can be disastrous. It’s not unheard of a nail gun to discharge, even if the lock was in position, and this type of bad engineering can result in serious harm. Nail gun makers have a responsibility to distribute products that are safe because recalling them may not be enough. A functional safety lock, that can withstand the massive pressure output by a nail gun is fundamental in avoiding such injuries.
Nail gun accidents can happen because of misuse or bad design. When they do happen, it’s usually one of these cases:
- Bump-firing the gun without paying attention
- Holding one’s hand behind the nailing surface
- Puncturing the hand when handling an unsafe nail gun
- Accidental discharge next to someone
- Nail fired like a projectile after the gun slipped from the intended surface
Defective equipment on a construction site is always a safety hazard. In the case of worn or defective ropes and cables, the consequences could prove fatal, both for the worker that uses the equipment and for other workers or even pedestrians.
OSHA regulations dictate that every cable and rope needs to be visually inspected before each shift by a competent person, capable of determining if the equipment is safe to use during that shift. Unfortunately, this practice is often neglected, leading to injuries that could have been easily prevented.
Moreover, even when the cable or rope does not present any structural damage, lifting weights beyond its capacity or using the equipment for other purposes than those intended can result in the cable or rope snapping, leading to materials and objects being dropped from a crane or similar equipment, platforms collapsing, or workers falling from a height. Such accidents often lead to serious injuries, requiring extensive treatment and resulting in the inability to work, sometimes for long periods of time.
Power tools can be very dangerous, and they require extra caution even when being used as intended. Manufacturers have a duty to provide products that are safe to use and warn about the potential risks.
However, many of these tools arrive at consumers and workers with design or manufacturing defects that expose them to potential serious injuries and put their lives at risk. If an accident occurs on a construction site, the employer, contractor, or any entity responsible for employees’ safety can be held liable under certain circumstances. You can pursue compensation if your injuries were caused by:
- Design defects. If the product causes injuries when used under the intended conditions and it reflects the original design, you can file a defective product liability claim.
- Manufacture defects. Even if the product design is not defective, errors may occur in the manufacturing process, and some of the products may malfunction under certain circumstances.
- Improper warning. The manufacturing company must provide accurate and clear instructions on how to operate the tool as well as warn consumers about the potential risks of using the product.
Excavation work is often necessary on many construction sites. Laying foundations, burying wires and pipelines are often part of a construction project, and they involve digging trenches and excavation. However, these jobs are some of the most hazardous construction operations. Trench collapses lead to hundreds of injuries and dozens of deaths every year. The main cause of these accidents is the failure to adhere to OSHA safety regulations in an attempt to speed up the process and reduce financial costs.
General safety procedures that should be taken in to account in order to minimize the risks of a trench collapse are:
- Regular trench integrity checks
- Keeping heavy equipment and heavy loads away from the trench edges
- Regular testings for low oxygen and dangerous gases
- Providing safe access and exits from excavations
- Designing protective systems like sloping or using retaining walls
When working with and around heavy equipment, workers need to be extra careful. Injuries caused by these machines are often severe and sometimes deadly. However, no matter how careful, and what safety precaution the victim takes, sometimes the matter is out of his hands. When operating a powerful machine such as a forklift, the risks are high. These machines are often used to lift heavy materials and objects to a higher shelf or platform. However, the load, and therefore, the machine, becomes extremely unstable in the process and can roll over, injuring both the operator and the people in proximity. Nonetheless, risks can always be minimized by adhering to proper safety measures:
- Appropriate training. The operator must be licensed and needs to have sufficient experience working on that specific type of forklift.
- Maintenance. All equipment for the workplace needs to be regularly checked in order to make sure the machine is safe to use.
- Proper supervision. Workers need to be properly supervised and supervisors have to make sure they adhere to safety regulations and procedures.
- Safe workspace layout. Materials and tools have to be stacked in a way that allows vehicles and heavy equipment like forklifts to move around safely.
Typically, injuries occur in these situations:
- Heavy load on the forklift causing the cargo to fall, or the machine to roll over
- Workers being hit, either by the forks, or when backing up
- Lack of maintenance leading to equipment failure
- Defective products
- Crashing into merchandise stacks causing them to fall on the operator or other workers
Welding is a process of fusing two pieces of metal together by using heat. The metal gets melted in the process so that it can be bonded together. As you can imagine, this job requires extensive training beforehand, but even so, it still poses a significant risk.
Statistically, over 1 in 250 workers suffer fatal injuries while welding, or may develop a deadly illness; however, non-fatal injuries are much more common. Most accidents and injuries on a work site can be prevented. Welding injuries can be prevented by:
- Providing proper training
- Providing adequate safety equipment: eye protection, full face shield, gloves, and clothing equipment specifically designed for this job
- Proper ventilation in the workspace that prevents the workers from inhaling the toxic fumes
- Keeping flammable materials away from the work area to minimize the risks of explosions and fires
Most accidents on a construction site happen because of bad design or inspection. Workers have a right to a safe work environment, but unfortunately, employers, contractors or other entities are always looking to take shortcuts to maximize profits and workers end up caught in the middle.
In these situations, a personal injury lawyer can help you establish liability and recover compensation for your injuries. Employers are required to adhere to certain health and safety regulations designed and enforced by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
OSHA protects laborers from having to work in unsafe or hazardous conditions. Failure to adhere to these safety standards from the employers’ part usually draws hefty fines.
Ladders are among the most common tools used on a construction site. At the same time, falls from ladders are among the most common causes of construction accident injuries.
Most of the accidents happen because workers set up the ladder improperly or use the wrong type of ladder for their job, but there are many accidents caused in particular by defective ladders.
Many ladders are manufactured negligently, using cheap materials, and are not safe for use when they arrive at the construction site. While employers might be protected under the Worker’s Compensation Act in the case of a ladder accident, workers may still pursue compensation from the ladder manufacturing company or even from the store that sold the ladder.
Roofing is considered to be one of the most dangerous occupations and is also very physically demanding as it requires frequent heavy lifting, bending, kneeling, and climbing. Roofing jobs are associated with a large number of construction accidents. Working at heights has its risks, however, if the proper safety regulations would be followed, employees would be able to work in a safe environment.
Most roofing accidents can easily be prevented by implementing safety features and mechanisms including but not limited to:
- Installing proper fall protection (guardrails, safety nets, personal fall arrest systems)
- Providing adequate and sufficient training
- Maintaining and performing regular safety inspections on all the equipment used (scaffolding, ladders, various tools, etc.)
- Performing regular risk assessment inspections, checking the integrity of the structure and roof
However, the majority of roofers are not provided with protection systems and often have to work in a hazardous environment.
More than 30% of all injuries suffered on a construction site are caused by slips, trips, and falls and almost half of all fatalities happen in similar circumstances. Almost all of these injuries occur because of dangerous job conditions.
While most trip-and-falls involve falling on the same level, such as tripping oven an object and landing on the floor, there are several instances where the workers fall several stories down, suffering devastating injuries, sometimes death.
OSHA provides strict regulations that should prevent injuries resulted from trip-and-falls such as:
- All unprotected sides and edges at 4 feet or more above the lower level (including ramps and walkways) should be equipped with guardrails, safety nets, catch platforms, or warning lines
- In cases where the above safety features are not possible, workers should be provided with personal fall arrest systems and have adequate training for working at heights
- Passageways and working areas should be clear of obstructions that could potentially pose a health hazard such as uneven surfaces, potholes, cracks, debris, tools, cables, and hoses
Material and personnel lifts are indispensable equipment on almost any construction site. It is vital that these machines are designed, operated, and maintained responsibly to avoid workplace accidents and injuries. OSHA imposes the following rules and requirements regarding the safety of elevators and material lifts on construction sites:
- Each elevator should be visually inspected every morning before the shift start
- The upper landing gates should be closed before operation
- The elevator floor should be clear of debris or any other objects and obstacles that could potentially interfere with the machine’s operation or pose a risk for the operator
- No more than three workers, including the operator, should be on the lift with the load at the same time
- The machine must not be operated in high winds (most machines are limited to wind speeds of less than 28 mph)
- Perform regular, thorough safety checks on the machine
- Only trained workers should operate the machine after they have proven they can operate it properly
Elevators, material lifts, scissor lifts, and other similar machines, provide a safe and reliable way for workers to conduct their job when they function correctly, and when used as intended. Otherwise, they present a serious health hazard and can cause fatal injuries.
Falling debris, materials, tools or other construction objects is a known hazard in the construction industry. Even a small object has the potential to cause life-threatening injuries when falling from several stories above. At the same time, these injuries are also among the most preventable.
Construction workers are not the only ones exposed to falling debris hazards. Construction sites are a common feature within urban areas, and we have become so used to them that most of the time we don’t even realize the dangers we are exposed to when we walk underneath a scaffold.
All it takes is one minor mistake, and someone’s life could change forever. When such a tragic incident occurs, the responsible negligent party has to provide compensation for the victim. Most of the time this is the contractor or the construction worker, but not always. If the injury is the result of equipment, tool, or machine malfunction, the company that manufactured the defective product may be liable.
Common items that may fall from buildings, platforms, or scaffolds include:
- Hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, or other hand-held tools
- Glass panels or windows
- Planks and other parts of the scaffolding
Falling objects injuries could easily be prevented by taking certain basic safety measures like installing safety nets, putting up barricades that limit the access to the danger area, and inspecting the equipment. However, these safe practices are often overlooked, and this leads to horrific injuries and death.
Employees on construction sites are often required to work with dangerous chemicals as part of their job. Following the rules and guidelines in place regarding the handling of hazardous chemicals can keep workers from catastrophic injury and a facility free from accidents. However, these protocols are often ignored, and people’s lives are put at risk. Some of the most common toxic chemicals and materials found on constructions sites include the following:
- Crystalline silica
- Vinyl chloride
- Various solvents and fuels
All of these chemicals have the potential to cause severe injuries, illnesses and even death, especially when people are being exposed to them for long periods of time
Highway construction projects are a common sight across the United States, and sadly, sometimes things go wrong. Serious highway construction accidents lead to possible injuries and fatalities not only for the drivers of the vehicles involved but for on-site workers and pedestrians as well.
According to a set of highway construction accidents related data provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every day, on average, 3 people lose their lives in highway construction accidents and each year, more than 40K people get injured in work zone crashes.
In recent years, the primary causes of highway construction fatalities were:
- Runovers/Backovers: 48%
- Collision Between Vehicles/Mobile Equipment: 14%
- Caught in Between/Struck by Construction Equipment and Objects: 14%
Road work accidents could be prevented if the necessary measures were adopted at the appropriate time. However, there are always chances that something might go wrong.
The constructions industry has always posed risks for workers and not only. Construction site accidents happen more frequently than ever before. Given the increasing demand for new buildings, facilities, and roads, their incidence is unlikely to decrease. It is estimated that approximately 21% of work-related fatalities in the private sector occur in the construction field. Nonetheless, construction accidents don’t only cause victims amongst workers, but also among pedestrians.
These accidents can occur in different ways. Most commonly, they happen due to improper marking that causes confusion among pedestrians, allowing them to get in or near the construction area, thereby exposing themselves to different risks.
Several measures can be taken to avoid these incidents. It is essential to make sure that pedestrians are protected at all times while walking near roads in construction and construction sites. This result can only be achieved by following the safety regulations that require:
- Using protective barriers
- Marking the area so that vehicles and pedestrians are kept apart
- Providing the necessary crossing points
- Preventing pedestrians from crossing dangerous areas
- Equipping construction vehicles with the proper safeguards to minimize the impact in case of an accident
- Separating pedestrians from vehicles in areas where the traffic is intense
While less common than some of the other types of construction site accidents, drowning accidents among workers are nowhere near rare. Construction workers are exposed to numerous risks when working on bridges, even more than on a typical construction site. Not all drowning accidents result in a fatality. The injuries sustained in near-drowning accidents usually lead to life-altering complications with long-term consequences. The most common cause of injury involving near-drowning incidents is the loss of oxygen flow to the brain for extended periods of time. This can lead to severe, usually permanent, disabilities such as loss of cognitive function, or impaired memory and reasoning.
High workplace fatalities rates keep construction jobs atop the list of America’s most dangerous occupations. In the last years, almost one in five worker deaths were in construction. If an employer's failure to provide adequate safety procedures or protocols to follow or the negligent actions of another worker result in the death of an employee, the surviving family is entitled to file a claim for wrongful death. Work conditions can change rapidly on a construction site, and many things can go wrong, quickly putting a worker in harm’s way if he or she is not aware of a hazard. The four most deadly dangers causing injury at construction sites are the following:
- Being struck by an object. Even with proper protection, workers can suffer severe or life-ending injuries when hit by flying objects, falling objects, swinging objects, or even by equipment or objects at ground level.
- Slips, trips, and falls. The majority of construction accidents involve falls and hazards must be marked so that workers are aware of slippery conditions, obstacles, uneven or weakened platforms, but working at heights remains a severe occupational safety challenge.
- Electrocution. Construction sites often involve ungrounded wires or unfinished electrical systems, which cause a large number of fatal electrocutions each year. An employee may come in contact with an object that is drawing current or accidentally work on an electrical component that is not properly insulated.
- Caught-in accidents. These accidents occur when a worker occupies a space between two pieces of large building materials or a piece of large equipment and a wall or other structure. He or she may easily be crushed or suffocated under the weight of machinery or objects that are moved into one another.