Construction accidents are the leading cause of work-related injuries nationwide. People who work on construction sites face occupational hazards every day. In fact, unsafe working conditions are a common sight. As contracted labor is more common in this industry, liability is often questioned when someone suffers an injury.
The Risks Involved in the Construction Industry
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) analyzed fatal injury rates. CFOI found that in the construction trades, it is now 40 per 100,000 workers. Accordingly, one of its studies also revealed that construction workers have:
- 75% likelihood of experiencing a disabling injury over a 45-year career
- 1-in-200 will likely be fatally injured on the job
- 15% possibility of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- 11% chance of developing dust-related parenchymal chest X-ray changes
Moreover, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2019, fatality rates have increased in this industry by 6% since 2007. This means that construction accidents have been more fatal in the last 12 years. In addition, 1 out of 5 deaths among US workers come from the construction industry.
Furthermore, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finds that every year “more than 800 construction workers die and nearly 137,000 are seriously injured while on the job”.
Main Hazards that Cause Construction Accidents
Hazards make construction sites one of the most dangerous places to work. Equipment and work processes that are not fully monitored can lead to injuries. Avoid these things to prevent construction accidents:
- Falls in Construction – Accidents like these often result from unprotected work environments. For example, floor openings must have guarded railings. Scaffolds, bridge decking, roofing, and building edges must have safety systems in place. OSHA reports that 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities were caused by falls. In sum, 31% of fatal injuries from job sites come from fall accidents.
- Overexertion – Poor working conditions may cause back injuries, sprains, and strains. Accidents may happen while workers are pulling cables or carrying heavy objects.
- Struck-by Accidents – These may injure anyone from laborers to pedestrians. Even the slightest negligence can result in catastrophic injury. Therefore, it is crucial to observe safety precautions to prevent accidents. Extreme monitoring is necessary while lifting cranes and operating heavy equipment.
Other Hazards that Cause Construction Accidents
- Electric Shock – Some electrical systems do not conform to safety standards. As a result, this can cause severe injury to other contractors. Construction sites hire several tradesmen working at once. Thus, all work must be constantly inspected and monitored.
- Collapses – Excavations and trenching can lead to fatal construction accidents. Anything from loose debris, gravel pits, and other accumulated objects can cave in. Also, large piles can cause an avalanche-like disaster. Hence, safety nets and protective equipment must always be secured at work sites.
- Chemical Exposure – Unsafe practices expose construction workers to all sorts of harmful substances. Accordingly, such conditions result in lead poisoning, carbon monoxide inhalation, and respiratory illnesses. Even worse, hazardous chemicals may also cause blindness, burns, and other injuries from explosions.
Construction Accident Statistics in Arizona
To identify the factors that cause construction accidents, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) studied local construction accident records. The purpose of this research is to implement strategies to reduce the risks. According to ADOT, parts of the data revealed the following:
Most construction site accidents in Arizona happened on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor says that Monday is the critical day for accidents.
Workers should be extra cautious during the morning. As it happens, this is when the majority of injuries occur.
- Dangerous accidents also occur mostly in the time period between 1 pm to 2 pm.
- Construction accidents in Arizona are usually caused by overexertion, struck by, and falls from the same elevation.
Another study conducted by OSHA showed similar results. Construction accidents in Arizona are commonly caused by:
- falls (42.9%)
- struck by objects (34.3%)
- electrocutions (12.5%)
- trenches collapse (10.3%)
Occupations at Risk
Each year, thousands of victims are brought to hospitals due to construction accidents. In fact, more than 8,000 have suffered occupational injuries on construction sites during recent years. According to the 2019 Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses data by industry SOII/CFOI report, Arizona victims usually include:
- on-site supervisors
- extraction workers
- equipment operators
- installation contractors
Construction accidents usually occur in residential and commercial buildings, highway and street repairs, bridge installations, and on other sites involving heavy civil engineering work.
Types of Injuries from Construction Accidents
By properly identifying the common types of injuries caused by construction accidents, you will be able to file a valid claim. Do not delay medical attention if you are suffering from any of these:
- muscle and joint damage (may lead to amputation)
- bone fractures
- lacerations/ cuts/ deep tissue wounds
- sprains/ muscle tear/ overuse damage
- loss of vision/ eye injuries (due to metal shrapnel/ chemical exposure)
- hearing impairment (due to extremely loud machinery)
- burns (from chemicals/ fire/ electrocution)
- shortness of breath (particularly from gas inhalation)
- traumatic brain injuries (from falls)
- spinal cord injuries
- post-traumatic stress disorder (from witnessing freak accidents)
Things to Do After a Construction Accident
Here are some helpful reminders if you or your co-worker has suffered an accident at the construction site:
- Seek medical help immediately. Call 911 if there is no emergency service at your workplace.
- If you can, take photos or videos of the accident or ask someone to do it for you.
- Try to keep any possible evidence, such as objects that caused your injury.
- Collect information from witnesses.
- Talk to a personal injury attorney to know your legal options.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help You Achieve Fair Compensation
Your construction accident injuries may cost more than just your present medical bills. Consequently, severe injuries may leave debilitating effects on your life. Therefore, you need to factor in the loss of income and the pain and suffering that the accident has caused you.
You should receive fair compensation that can help you achieve full recovery. However, since most construction jobs run on a contractual basis, determining liability becomes even more complicated. In short, the fault could either be from any of the following:
- property owner
- safety engineer
- the employer
- other contractors on the site
At Warnock MacKinlay Law, you will find a reliable attorney who will strengthen your claim. With the help of an experienced Arizona construction accident lawyer, you can get compensation for your injuries that you deserve.