It is no secret that construction work is dangerous. Workers risk suffering life-altering injuries or death daily no matter how careful they try to be. Even a small mistake by a worker, or a “minor” safety violation, can result in catastrophic injuries. Fortunately, employees in Georgia and South Carolina could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for their lost wages and medical bills.
Top Causes of Construction Accidents
Construction sites are full of accidents waiting to happen due to the large materials, power tools, and heavy machinery surrounding employees. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 874 construction workers were killed in work accidents in 2014. OSHA’s “Fatal Four”—the leading causes of construction workers’ deaths—include:
- Falls. Falls resulted in almost 40 percent of the 874 deaths in 2014. Construction workers often work at heights and risk falling from ladders, roofs, cranes, scaffolding, and window ledges.
- Electrocutions. This accounted for almost 10 percent of worker deaths. Employees are in danger of being shocked or electrocuted when they come in contact with power lines, equipment is not used properly or is defective, or extension cords are used improperly.
- Struck by an object. This also caused about 10 percent of workers’ deaths. Because employees are often working on different levels, those on lower levels are in danger of being hit by falling tools, beams, concrete, and other building materials.
- Caught-in or between objects. Approximately two percent of workers died when they were caught in or between objects such as large vehicles, large vehicles and walls, and the ground and concrete or other heavy building materials.
OSHA estimates that 508 construction workers’ deaths could be prevented each year if safety measures were followed that are designed to eliminate these tragic fatalities. Other common causes of worker injuries—also often preventable—include:
- Machinery accidents. Construction workers use a wide range of dangerous tools—nail guns, jackhammers, cranes, and forklifts are a few. When these tools are used improperly due to lack of training, or are not properly maintained, accidents can happen, causing life-altering injuries and deaths.
- Slip and falls. Tools and building materials strewn around, spilled liquids, extension cords, holes, and uneven ground are a few of the slip-and-fall hazards surrounding workers rushing to get to the next task.
- Fires and explosions. Construction workers must work around exposed wiring, leaking pipes, and flammable chemicals and gases. While fires and explosions are not as common as some other types of accidents, they cause horrific injuries and deaths.
- Vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, workers whose jobs are near forklifts and other heavy machinery are in danger of being hit when the machine operator does not see them.
- Overexertion. Construction workers must work for long hours in hot, humid conditions performing the same repetitive motions over and over again. This can lead them to suffer from heatstroke, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly, repetitive motion injuries, and muscle and joint damage.
- Trench or building collapse. One of the most terrifying accidents can be one where a trench or building collapses, burying the workers under construction materials, dirt, or machinery.
Construction Workers Can Suffer Life-Altering Injuries
Because of all the dangers on a construction site, employees suffer more catastrophic injuries than workers in other professions. Common injuries include:
- Amputation of a body part like a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg
- Broken bones and serious fractures
- Burns caused by fires, explosions, or electrical shock
- Loss of vision or other eye injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Paralysis and other spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder, knee, and ankle injuries caused by repetitive motions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Respiratory problems
- Cancers caused by exposure to toxic substances
Let an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help You Obtain the Workers’ Comp Benefits You Need
If you or a family member was injured in a construction accident, you may need expensive medical treatment and be off work for months or longer. Workers’ compensation benefits can pay your medical bills and compensate you for the wages you need to live. Unfortunately, obtaining these benefits is often not easy. You need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you fight to obtain the benefits you deserve. Start an online chat or call us at 888-795-6261 to schedule a free consultation.