Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. | January 5, 2021 | Construction Accidents
New York City boasts some of the most famous skylines in the entire world. These skylines that both New Yorkers and tourists enjoy are made possible by the work done on construction job sites. Unfortunately, construction is currently ranked as New York’s most dangerous industry.
Recent Increases in Construction Site Accidents
Many people believe that accidents on construction sites are always common. But recent studies have shown that the rates of construction accident injuries in New York are increasing. If you have been hurt on a construction site, you have the right to seek financial recovery. Seeking compensation can help you cover the costs associated with your injuries.
According to OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration), there were 5,250 workers killed on the job in 2018. This is an average of 14 worker deaths every single day. Of these, over 21% were from the construction industry.
This makes construction deaths the leading industry in private sector worker deaths. Also, New York is higher in construction industry deaths than the national average. Not every accident leads to the death of a worker. But these statistics reveal the dangerous nature of construction sites.
There is a range of factors contributing to the problem of accidents on construction sites. In this post, we will explore several of the top causes of these mishaps.
The Top Causes of Construction Site Accidents and Injuries
Some of the most common causes of accidents on construction sites include:
In 2018, falling accidents accounted for 338 of the 1,008 total construction deaths. So, falling accidents were the leading cause of construction deaths by far. A falling accident can occur when a worker accidentally steps onto an open-sided floor. Also, when stairwells do not have guardrails, the risk of falling is elevated.
Because construction sites often involve elevated work areas, falling injuries can be catastrophic for the workers who suffer them. Companies or contractors who fail to meet construction safety standards make falling accidents much more likely. In these cases, they may be held legally accountable for their negligence.
Struck by Object
Over one hundred workers died on construction sites after being struck by an object in 2018, according to OSHA. A leading cause of “struck by object” injuries and death are the lack of proper training. When workers have not been trained in the proper safety procedures for the relevant machinery and equipment, they are more likely to suffer this type of injury.
For example, workers should be trained in proper braking procedures for vehicles, vehicles’ reverse alarms, tool guards, PPE (personal protection equipment), catch platforms, and more. Failing to train workers properly is one way construction companies may bear the responsibility for worker injury and death.
In 2018, over 8% of worker deaths were caused by electrocution. Electrocution injuries occur when a person comes into contact with a power line or other exposed source of electricity. The person may come into contact with the source of electricity directly or indirectly, such as through a tool or piece of machinery.
Electrocutions sometimes happen because workers are not made aware of the various electrified power sources on the job site. For instance, if a worker hits an unmarked powerline with a tall ladder that they are carrying, they could be electrocuted.
Congested construction sites can house many potential hazards. Because of this, a worker may fail to accurately calculate all the possible dangers while concentrating on their job function.
“Caught In/Between” accidents occur when a worker is standing between two heavy objects or pieces of machinery. When one of the heavy objects moves, the worker is caught between them.
In 2018, this type of accident accounted for 55 worksite deaths. “Caught In/Between” injuries may also occur when a stack of heavy materials collapses or when a worker’s body parts are caught in the moving elements of a machine.
Slip and Fall Accidents
This type of accident is one of the most common on construction sites. In the presence of unsafe working conditions, slip and fall accidents are likely. Wet or slick surfaces without guardrails or signage can cause workers to lose their balance and fall.
In spite of strict regulations, accidents on scaffolding sometimes still happen. One reason for this is that scaffolding regulations are some of the most frequently violated by private companies, according to OSHA.
Scaffolding injuries can happen as the result of a support giving way. Also, they are sometimes caused by a worker slipping or being struck by an object. Most scaffold safety injuries are the result of poor scaffolding construction or lack of proper maintenance.
Defective or Dangerous Machinery and Power Tools
These types of injuries happen for a variety of reasons. Obviously, there are inherent risks in using construction machinery and power tools. But these risks are exacerbated by factors including faulty equipment, electrical defects, lack of adequate worker training, and inadequate safety gear.
Unfortunately, the OSHA safety regulations for machinery and machine guarding are one of the ten most frequent regulatory violations each year. This leads to many worker injuries and deaths annually.
Vehicle Accidents and Malfunctions
Construction site vehicles like graders, backhoes, trucks, and forklifts are the cause of many job site injuries each year.
For instance, when workers operate a forklift with the load in the raised position, visibility and control are decreased. This can lead to collisions or caught in/between accidents. Proper vehicle operation training is necessary for maintaining a safe and functional construction site.
Many of the injuries discussed above are preventable with the proper regulations, protective measures, and safety training.
Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured on a construction site, seeking qualified legal representation is critical. The economic costs from a worksite injury can skyrocket quickly.
A skilled lawyer can help you to determine if your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence. If your injury was caused by a company’s regulatory violations or lack of proper training, you might be entitled to compensation for the costs associated with your injury.