Workplace accidents have the potential to occur in any industry, but certain industries are more susceptible to serious injuries. Construction workers face numerous hazards that cannot always be avoided, necessitating strict adherence to protocols to prevent accidents. Construction accidents can result in devastating injuries and even fatalities.
Contrary to popular belief, construction accidents are more prevalent than one might imagine. Approximately 10 percent of construction workers suffer from work-related injuries. Many of these injuries occur early in a construction worker’s career when they are less experienced, with around 60 percent of construction injuries happening during the first year of employment. Construction accidents also tend to be more fatal compared to other industries, as one in five workplace fatalities is linked to construction work.
Construction sites present a variety of risks, regardless of whether workers are involved in major commercial developments or single home renovations. Construction industry workers frequently encounter heavy machinery, work at extreme heights or underground, handle electrical wiring or equipment, and deal with potentially hazardous substances. While catastrophic injuries can happen in numerous ways, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies the following as the “fatal four”:
- Falls: Construction workers often work on scaffolding, ladders, rooftops, and cranes, making them susceptible to serious falls in the event of equipment failure or loss of balance.
- Electrocution: Construction or demolition work may expose workers to live wires, and worksites may utilize generators or power tools that can cause electric shocks, burns, or arc flashes.
- Struck-by object: Due to the constant movement of heavy equipment and materials, workers are at risk of being struck by objects in motion or falling from above, resulting in severe injuries.
- Caught in-between: Workers can get pinned between surfaces when machinery tips over, trucks back up, or walls collapse, leading to severe trauma.
In addition to the fatal four, there are many other daily risks faced by construction workers, including exposure to hazardous chemicals like asbestos, silica, or lead, which can cause chronic health conditions. Other risks include trench collapses, scaffold collapses, fires, explosions, gas leaks, elevator shaft accidents, forklift, crane, or hoist accidents, defective machinery, tools, or vehicles, sudden loud noises or prolonged noise exposure, slip and fall accidents, lifting heavy objects, excavations, exposure to severe weather conditions, and more.
Construction-related injuries or illnesses can range from relatively minor to catastrophic, and sometimes even fatal. Common construction injuries include cuts or lacerations from protruding nails, raw materials, or equipment, burns, eye injuries caused by welding or grinding shrapnel, fractures or broken bones, electric shock or electrocution, repetitive motion injuries, hearing or vision loss, chemical burns or skin irritation, amputation of extremities, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, respiratory distress, illnesses due to toxic exposure, muscle or joint strains, sprains, or tears, heat stress or heat stroke, hypothermia or frostbite, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
When a construction-related injury occurs, it is crucial for the injured worker or site visitor to seek immediate medical attention. Many construction injuries require urgent care, and a comprehensive diagnosis shortly after the incident is essential. The injury should also be reported to the worker’s supervisor or site manager, and any evidence at the scene should be preserved to establish how the accident occurred, including witness statements if available.
It’s not just construction workers who are at risk of construction-related injuries; visitors to the site or pedestrians walking nearby may also be in danger if hazards are not properly addressed. Falling debris or collapsing scaffolding on a building’s exterior can cause serious injuries, and poorly marked roadway construction can lead to auto accidents.
To ensure a safe working environment, construction companies have a responsibility to comply with the safety standards set.
Los Angeles Catastrophic Injury Lawyers at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP Provide Comprehensive Representation to Injured Construction Workers
If you were injured on a construction site, contact an experienced Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyer at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP today. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. With offices conveniently located in Los Angeles and San Diego, we help injured construction workers and their families throughout southern California. Call us today at 833-ACTS-LAW or contact us online for a free consultation.