What Are Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents?
Construction sites are brimming with activity, equipment, and people. They are also fraught with hazards and safety concerns. Heavy equipment, human error, and materials in motion can all contribute to dangerous conditions for those unlucky enough to be affected by construction site accidents. These accidents directly result in thousands of injuries and deaths per year. Knowing the most common causes of construction site accidents is critical in order to be vigilant and avoid danger.
Common Construction Accidents
While there are numerous ways in which construction accidents occur, there are a few that account for the vast majority of them.
These conditions include:
- Being struck by an object
- Getting caught in machinery or equipment
Likewise, the causes that contribute to these perils include:
- Machinery Malfunction
- Human Error/Negligence
- Moving Equipment/Materials
- Ground Collapse
- Vehicular Accidents
- Water/Gas/Electrical Issues
Construction site falls are the most common type of injury, comprising nearly one-third of all construction injuries and accidents, annually. The seriousness of these falls depends on circumstances that include height from the ground from which the injured falls, ground conditions fallen upon, surrounding equipment (ladders, building materials, scaffolding, etc.), and position at landing. On rare occasions, there may be safety equipment or netting employed, however, more often than not, this is not the case.
Moving objects are not at all a rarity on a construction site, and as a result, workers are often severely hurt by swinging heavy equipment, materials being located, vehicles in motion, or simple, unfortunate wrong-place/wrong-time location. Crushing injuries also account for these types of striking damages.
As utilities are integrated into building sites, water, gas, and electricity each become a critical concern. Confusion with these lines can contribute to catastrophic injury, therefore every precaution must be taken to signal those onsite workers to use the utmost care around them.
Motorized machinery can have rapid consequences when poorly managed or maintained. The importance of vigilance and maintenance cannot be overstated when operating heavy equipment. Loose clothing, safety equipment, and operator error can all contribute to injury and/or death when caught in machinery or equipment.
Disturbance of the soil necessary to begin excavation for a structure can be extensive. Factors like the type of soil, hardness and/or consistency of the earth, weather conditions, and moisture of the surrounding area can all have a significant impact on the stability of a construction worksite. Underground areas can be just as unpredictable, with voids and water creating unexpected issues. Collapse can happen at any time when deep foundational work is being performed. Such collapses can rapidly carry away people and equipment in the affected area, resulting in injuries, entrapment, or even death.
Similarly, while crews often make every effort to keep materials and equipment organized, construction sites can easily become chaotic, and disorganized. Heavy rains can make the recently-excavated ground slippery and unstable. As a result, certain areas may easily present slipping, tripping, or falling hazards to construction workers. Unfortunately, many of these missteps result in injury.
Construction Site Accident Injuries Can Result in:
- Head & Brain Injuries
- Eye Injury & Vision Damage
- Neck, Back, & Spinal Cord Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Severe Contusions
- Chemical/Electrical Exposure or Illness
Let’s talk about some statistics…
Each year, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publishes its statistics for data pertaining to myriad workplace conditions. According to their reports, accidents with injuries affect one in ten construction site workers every year. Of these, OSHA further states that the leading cause of these injuries is from falls that occur at construction sites. This estimate is further supported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to BLS, approximately 150,000 construction site injuries occur each year, with falls accounting for the greatest number of these accidents. Crushing/contact injuries ranked among the highest causes as well. As a result, at least 15% of Worker’s Compensations claims and expenses are directly the result of construction site injury claims.
The median ages for construction workers injured in construction mishaps each year are between 25 and 34 years of age, and the most common types of injuries reported involve their back, spine, or torso (trunk).
Construction site accidents and injuries can have long-term and sometimes permanent consequences, placing you and your family in financial hardship. At Daniella Levi & Associates, we are uniquely qualified to assist you with your construction accident injury claim. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured as a result of a construction site accident, call our experienced construction site injury law team today.