Construction workers face dangerous obstacles and risks at work every day. Construction injuries in the profession take place more frequently than anyone would hope. Centers for Disease Control statistics confirm construction work as one of the most dangerous fields of work, producing the highest number of fatalities each year compared to other professions.
According to the Board of Labor, on average approximately 1,000 workers die from construction injuries each year. That equals one in every ten construction workers. The study also found 150,000 workers suffer from construction injuries each year.
Construction puts workers in dangerous situations daily: working at extreme heights, exposure to loud noises, heavy machinery, tightly confined spaces, dust, chemicals, and working with electricity.
Common Construction Industry Hazards
Because of the toxic chemicals and dust ingested by construction workers, not all fatalities and injuries are caused by accidents. Instead, some construction workers develop severe illnesses. Common illnesses include lead poisoning and respiratory diseases.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports 15% of lead poisoning cases in the U.S. occur in construction workers who developed the illness on-site.
Respiratory illnesses develop when workers breath harsh materials such as asbestos on the job site.
Top 10 Construction Injuries
Many construction accidents result from explosions, fires, or other accidents. But statistics show the majority of construction injuries take place due to negligence.
The most common injuries that occur on the construction job site include:
- Burns and Scarring
- Head Injuries
- Injuries to the Spinal Cord
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Broken, fractured, or cut bones
- Limb or digit loss
- Loss of hearing
- Stress injuries
- Heat stroke
- Vision loss
According to the Center for Construction Research and training, being struck by an object while working on the construction site is the leading cause of non-fatal injuries, and falls are the leading cause of fatalities.
Preventing Construction Injurties
The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) enforces all employers to follow the Construction Safety Act which is defined in Section 1910.12 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards. This Federal law was enacted to enforce safety standards and is said to save hundreds of lives each year.
Of all causes of accidents OSHA reports four leading injuries making up over 57% of deaths, or 435 fatalities yearly. These injuries include falls, getting caught between objects, getting stuck by objects, and electrocutions. OSHA also determined that the most common area of construction work for fatalities are the specialty trade workers, which includes foundation construction, building structures, and pouring concrete. Approximately 48% of construction worker deaths fall into this category which is substantially more dangerous than all other categories of construction work.
To eliminate some of these deaths and injuries, all equipment must be inspected and properly maintained to ensure that they are functioning properly and safely. Furthermore, all construction workers should undergo training and following safety regulations that are in place to save lives. Construction workers shouldn’t have any excuses when it comes to partaking in safety training as this could be important to their health and the life that they lead during the completion of a project. When working in this industry, you should never stop trying to learn more about construction safety as this could help to save a life, maybe even yours.
Legal Action for Construction Injuries
Injuries incurred in the course of employment qualify for workers the problem.
The Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers handle workers compensation and construction site injuries in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Office resources include memberships in the American Association of Justice, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and the New Hampshire Association for Justice.