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Noland Law Firm, LLC Legal Blog

Monday, July 31, 2017

Construction Injuries: Falls Rank Number One

The construction industry sees a significant number of injuries due to the dangerous nature of the work. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 3.3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2009. Of those, roughly 9% were injuries within the construction industry. Falls accounted for nearly one-quarter of all injuries that construction workers reported.

Even when employees and employers follow safety regulations to a tee, accidents can still happen. Some of the most common construction worker injuries are described below. The first four are known as the “Fatal Four” by OSHA as they are the most likely to cause fatal injuries.

Falls

Of the 937 deaths that occurred in the construction industry in 2015, 364 of those were caused by falls. That means that roughly 38.8% of all construction deaths were because of falls.

Construction workers risk falling any time they use cranes, scaffolding, or ladders. Working on roofs or other elevated structures significantly increases the risk of being injured due to a serious fall. Scaffolding violations were also one of the most commonly cited violations in 2015, according to OSHA.

Falling Objects

In 2015, 90 people were fatally injured because a falling object struck them. That means that falling objects account for just under 10% of all construction-related fatalities.

Tools, materials, and even other workers can fall and injure construction workers below them. Falling objections can result in severe brain and spinal cord injuries, even if the employee is using proper equipment to protect his or her head. It is essential to secure tools and materials to avoid these situations.

Electrocutions

There were 81 construction workers killed in 2015 because of electrocutions. Electrocutions account for about 8.6% of all construction-related deaths.

These injuries can occur any time power is flowing to a structure or equipment when it should not be. It is important to communicate with other workers to avoid these types of injuries—and always, always shut off the power to equipment before working on it.

Caught-In/Between

Workers may be injured because they become stuck or caught in between or under heavy or large equipment. According to OSHA, an injury falls into this category any time a worker is compressed by equipment or objects and in situations where an employee is struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure.

This category of injuries was responsible for the deaths of 67 workers in 2015 and accounted for 7.2% of all construction fatalities that year.

Fires and Explosions

Burns and scarring that result from fires and explosions are common in the construction industry. Workers are often exposed to dangerous, flammable chemicals, exposed wiring, and leaking pipes. Any of these can result in an explosion if the conditions are right.

Burns can lead to severe, long-term health conditions and scarring. While this type of injury is not as common as others, it may be more likely to cause significant future damage.

Getting Legal Help After a Construction Accident

Construction accidents may either be covered by workers’ compensation, or you may be able to assert a personal injury claim, depending on your role at the construction site. Noland Law Firm can help you bring your claim in the way that best fits your situation. Contact our team for more information.


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