The most common types of construction accidents are falls, according to the New York City Department of Buildings. However, a wide variety of accidents happen on construction sites, and they result from a correspondingly wide range of causes. United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the top four construction hazards are:
Each hazard happens under a variety of circumstances, and each can be prevented when the proper tools, training, and site management are in place.
Over 30 percent of all fatalities in the construction industry occur from fall injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Construction falls comprise 40 percent of the total number of work-related falls in the country. These can be falls off of a structure, as well as slip and fall or trip and fall accidents.
Within the construction industry, the risk of fatal falls is highly prominent among ironworkers and roofers, BLS reports, but these accidents can occur within any type of construction job. The agency compiles specific data to track the circumstances of falls within this industry that resulted in fatal injuries. Their analysis reveals the following common falls, slips, and trips scenarios:
- Falls from collapsing equipment or structures
- Falls through existing openings or surfaces
- Falls to lower levels
- Falls down a set of stairs or steps
- Falls from ladders
- Falls from materials that are stacked or piled
- Falls from roofs
- Falls from scaffolding
- Falls from structural steel, like a building girder
- Falls from stationary vehicles
Falls can generate serious injuries, some of which can be fatal. According to OSHA, these types of accidents can be prevented by safely using scaffolds and ladders, maintaining appropriate protection of site perimeters, wearing personal fall arrest gear, and covering floor openings, as well as labeling covers for floor openings.
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Construction sites present many opportunities for workers to be struck by something during the course of their workdays. Work vehicles and mobile equipment can move forward or back up into people on the site or on roadways.
Preventing Struck-By Accidents
Construction workers can best prevent struck-by accidents by taking care to not position themselves between fixed and moving objects. When in the proximity of vehicles and equipment, workers should wear high-visibility clothes. This type of awareness comes from required OSHA training.
The massive equipment on a construction site—whether mobile or stationary—presents a significant risk for workers’ getting caught-in or between two pieces of equipment or between a piece of equipment and another object, like a wall. This includes being crushed or caught in the mass of a collapsing structure, material, or equipment, and being compressed by objects or equipment.
Preventing Caught-In/Between Accidents
OSHA recommends that construction workers always wear a sturdy protective system when entering a trench or excavation. These areas must also be protected by shoring, sloping, or benching, or some type of trench shield system.
Construction workers are exposed to electrocution hazards by working with power lines and electrical systems, as well as potentially conductive objects such as ladders and hand tools.
OSHA recommends training site workers to implement various precautions to avoid electrocution. These include:
- Identifying location and type of utilities before commencing work
- Keeping a safe distance from power lines
- Using ground-fault circuit interrupters
- Watching for electrocution hazards when using scaffolds and ladders
- Checking for overhead power lines during the use of any equipment
- Only using portable electric tools that are grounded or double insulated
When workers are trained in taking these safety protocols, they can avoid the risk of electrical injury death.
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Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. Represents Construction Accident Victims
The common types of construction accidents are sometimes caused by a negligent party. If you sustained an injury in a construction accident in the five boroughs of New York City, on Long Island or anywhere, no matter where you live, Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. wants to help you in your effort to put your life together. We will investigate the cause of the incident that resulted in your injuries, calculate your damages, file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party, negotiate for a fair settlement, and, if necessary, take your case to trial to pursue damages in civil court.
Our lawyers are passionate advocates for the injured people of New York. We work on a contingency-fee basis and charge you only when and if we win your case.
Call our office today for a free review of your casa at (516) 932-0400.