What Are the Main Causes of Accidents in Construction?
A construction site can be a tough place to work. People are exposed to numerous harsh environments while on the job, dealing with heavy machinery and working high off the ground. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s commonly used statistics, the primary cause of an accident on the job site is falling from a height or being struck by a falling object.
Numerous other types of accidents can occur on a construction site. But if you are wondering what the main causes of accidents in construction are, understand that falls represent the biggest danger.
Most Common Job Site Accidents
According to OSHA, of the almost 4,800 on-the-job fatalities in the United States in 2018, 21% of them occurred on construction sites. The four primary reasons deaths occurred on the construction site included:
- Fall: Where the worker suffers a fatal injury after falling from a height
- Struck by an object: Where an object typically falls from a height and strikes someone.
- Electrocution: Where a construction worker inadvertently comes in contact with a live electrical wire, causing a fatality
- Crush: Where a construction worker is caught between two objects, causing a crushing injury that leads to a fatality
If you or a loved one suffered from an accident due to any of these causes, the experienced construction accident lawyers of our firm are ready to help you.
Other Accident Hazards
Of course, not all construction site accidents result in fatalities. Injuries to construction workers that are not fatal are far more frequent. Some of the situations at a site that could lead to an injury to a construction worker include:
- Lack of equipment to protect against falls from a height
- Tripping and falling hazards on the ground
- Removal of safety guards from power tools
- Lack of safety equipment or improper safety equipment
- Malfunctioning power equipment
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals without safety gear
- Improper shoring up of dangerous areas at the site, including trenches
Construction site workers have the right to expect to work in a safe environment. Proper measures not only include making the construction site itself safe, but also providing safe equipment for workers to use.
The Most Frequent Safety Violations
OSHA makes attempts to keep workers safe by inspecting construction sites. Sometimes workers fall. Other violations OSHA discovers can include:
- Environmental hazards
- Unsafe scaffolding
- Unsafe ladders
- Lack of protection against respiratory contaminants
- Lack of protection for eyes and face
- Lack of protection against electrical shock
If an employer does not properly follow OSHA guidelines, their workers could be placed in harm’s way. A failure to follow safety regulations could result in a finding of negligence against the construction site owner and operator, which is a key component in helping an injured worker win a personal injury lawsuit.
Why Construction Site Accidents Occur
Sometimes, an accident at a construction site is just that, an accident. No one could have prevented it.
Quite often, however, an accident is preventable. While specifics vary, a similar thread is a lack of appropriate care, or carelessness, in the performance of some function, that took too great a risk with the safety of those on the construction site. Perhaps someone was in a hurry, failing to take all of the necessary safety precautions before beginning a certain task. Other times, the training the construction worker received was not adequate, resulting in a mistake that could have been prevented.
Working Too Fast
In many construction projects, the company that accepts a job could receive a bonus if the work is done before a certain deadline. Or if certain milestones are not met, the construction company could receive fines.
Either way, a monetary incentive exists to encourage the company to try to complete the work as quickly as possible. When construction workers are forced to hurry, either by working too many hours consecutively or by being asked to cut corners on safety, this can result in an accident.
A construction company that provides a low bid for a project often will win the project. But to match its low budget for the project, the construction company may be forced to slash costs.
Perhaps it uses faulty equipment that needs repair, but the company chooses to save money and leave it running as is. Or perhaps the company asks workers to perform tasks for which they are not really qualified or for which the equipment available is not adequate, placing the workers at risk for an injury.
The construction company may save money by hiring untrained workers for certain jobs. Their unpredictability and lack of attention to detail places themselves and other workers on the site in danger of an injury or a fatality.
Protecting Your Rights After an Accident
If you were involved in an accident at the construction site where you suffered an injury, you have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, pain, and suffering. Friedman & Simon LLP Injury Lawyers has over 25 years of experience in winning compensation for injured construction workers. We are ready to put that experience and our dedication to work for you today.
Contact Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., to schedule a free consultation. We have a multilingual team of attorneys that takes pride in serving as advocates for injured people. Call us now at (516) 932-0400 to get started.