Did you know? According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), there were approximately 4,764 fatal work injuries” recorded in the US in 2020.
Unfortunately, a very large portion of these occurred as a result of construction accidents.
Heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and a chaotic work area often create a work environment that makes injuries more likely. This is why it is all the more important to follow all workplace safety guidelines and rules.
Even more important however, is being aware of possible sources of danger. That’s why today we’re going to go over some of the most common construction accidents that happen in the US.
There were a total of “1,778 fatal injuries” related to transportation in the US in 2020. According to the BLS, this accounted for a whopping “37.3 percent of all work-related fatalities”.
These accidents can come from a variety of sources, both internal and external. When it comes to roadside construction projects, passing vehicles are always a danger, especially near highways. This aside however, even guarded off construction zones present a variety of transportation related hazards. Bulldozers, large trucks, cranes, and other heavy machinery can cause serious harm upon impact with a worker.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for moving vehicles at your worksite, and always stay observant of your surroundings.
Falls, Slips, Trips
According to the BLS, there were 805 fatal fall/slip/tripping incident related injuries that occured in 2020. Although far from the number of transportation incidents that occur every day, slip & falls are still incredibly common. A slip and fall can occur for any number of reasons including slippery surfaces, damaged flooring, and wet conditions.
A more sneaky, but equally harmful cause of injuries is actually something called overexertion. Overexertion occurs when repetitive movement and straining of a body part causes injury over time. Although these injuries may not occur over the course of a few days or even months, they do make themselves known eventually.
For example, lifting or carrying heavy objects for extended periods of time can cause overexertion. These types of injuries can eventually lead to pain or discomfort, as well as costly medical bills and rehabilitation sessions.
Struck By Objects
Falling debris is a very common source of injury in many different industries and workplaces, including construction. Working with heavy materials such as cement and metal inherently means that anything falling could pose a risk. This is why it’s so important that workplaces comply with safety laws and regulations. Regular training sessions for employees are helpful as well.
Caught In (Or In Between)
If you’ve ever worked with a table saw or other rotating equipment, you’re probably well aware of this hazard. Many caught-in injuries happen when an employee is snagged or caught near a piece of working machinery that then cuts or crushes them.
In order to prevent these types of accidents, it’s imperative that all safety protocols are followed at construction sites. For example, using proper safety guards, wearing safety gear, avoiding jewelry and loose clothing, and other such rules must be carefully followed.
Although electrocution may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of construction, it does happen occasionally. According to the CDC, 61% of all US workplace electrocutions in 2015 occurred in construction (82 of 134 total deaths).
Do keep in mind however, that a large number of these incidents happened to electricians and power-line installers that worked with electricity on a daily basis. Other construction workers, such as roofers and carpenters on the other hand, suffered much lower rates of electrocution.
Exposure To Harmful Substances Or Environments
This particular category of injury might include exposure to a variety of things such as radiation, electricity, noise, temperature extremes, infectious diseases, chemicals, fumes, and much more.
For example, say that you’re a construction worker that has to work with dangerous chemicals or fumes, and you suddenly inhale a strong whiff of a chemical. This could cause some type of short-term or long-term harm to your health.
It is particularly important to follow workplace procedures and rules in order to prevent accidents such as these. Safety equipment such as masks are vital to protecting your health.
Fires And Explosions
Probably one of the least common types of accidents on this list, fires and explosions only made up 71 of the fatal occupational injuries that occured in 2020 (BLS). Flammable liquids and other explosive/blasting agents were heavy contributors to these.
Workplace accidents can result in both short-term and long-term injuries, and cause an employee to have to undergo various medical treatments. Not only does this come accompanied by expensive medical bills, but other costs as well. For example, say an employee injures their hand and isn’t able to work for a few months due to the injury. This can cost them thousands of dollars in lost income, resulting in financial strain.
That’s where workers comp comes in. Workers compensation is a type of insurance that covers employees in the case of a workplace injury. Don’t forget to make sure that you are fully compensated in the case that you suffer an injury while working.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind after an injury:
- Report any workplace injuries immediately. Although it may be tempting to put this off, try to report your injury to a supervisor as soon as possible.
- Receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Getting your injury evaluated sooner rather than later is imperative to a workers comp case. If your accident resulted in some type of injury, it’s important that the injury is recorded as soon as possible.
- Consult with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help you get as much compensation as possible, and can guide you through the process. The best part however, is that many attorneys such as the Cochran Firm Philadelphia office offer FREE consultations. This makes legal help very accessible.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that this article helped you learn a little bit more about construction accidents. Just in case however, here are a few more answers to frequently asked questions.
How To Prevent Construction Accidents?
The best way to prevent construction accidents is to ensure that proper rules and safety guidelines are always being followed. Employees should receive regular safety training so that they are aware of what good safety practices look like.
Ask yourself these questions when at a work site:
Is everyone wearing their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)?
Are all of the workers properly trained in safety and compliance?
Are workers taking breaks and receiving enough rest, water, and food?
Is there an appropriate amount of safety signage in place?
Is all of the construction equipment being maintained properly?
And much more…
What To Do In Case Of An Accident At Work?
Injuries in the workplace do happen. If you find yourself hurt after an accident, try not to panic. Instead, get medical attention as soon as possible and notify your supervisor/employer of the injury. Following this, it’s best to contact an attorney. They might be able to help you through your workers comp claim process or get you more compensation.
Quick Tip: Don’t forget to keep all of the paperwork and bills related to your work injury. This includes records of your visit, copies of discharge paperwork, bills, and more.
Additionally, don’t forget to mention to your doctor that you were injured at work.
Workers Comp Lawyer In Philadelphia
Are you looking for an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you need? Well, that’s us! Here at the Cochran Firm Philadelphia office, we handle all kinds of cases – including construction and other work accidents. More importantly however, we treat our clients with the empathy and respect that they deserve. We know that legal battles can be stressful, which is exactly why we do everything we can to make the process easier for you.
Call or fill out our online form to book your FREE consultation with us.
Our practice also handles cases related to auto accidents, medical malpractice, police misconduct, birth injury, and more.