Construction sites are deservedly known for being among the more hazardous places to work. According to OSHA, around one-fifth of worker deaths in the private sector are results of construction site accidents. While some types of accidents are unpredictable and cannot be reasonable safeguarded against, it is possible to watch out for the most common and dangerous kinds of injuries.
Falls form the overwhelming majority of fatal construction accidents. There are several types of hazards that make falls more likely for construction workers. These include the lack of proper fall protection, lack of proper signage, and defective scaffolding or ladders. Even when all standards are properly complied with, anyone working off the ground runs the risk of falling if he or she does not maintain an adequate awareness of surroundings. Falls that are not fatal can also be caused by tripping over uneven surfaces, machinery or objects left on the floor.
Another common hazard stems from handling wiring and electrical equipment. Whether the components are defective, the assembly is improper or the worker is simply not paying enough attention, electrocution presents a real risk of potentially serious and even fatal injury.
Construction workers are frequently exposed to potentially harmful substances such as toxic chemicals. It is important to prevent injury by wearing appropriate protective gear and following instructions as to proper handling. A lack of signage can also cause workers to become exposed to toxic materials.
Moving machinery can present a significant hazard. Construction sites are full of heavy, movable equipment that can cause serious injuries if it hits someone. Workers can also get caught between a wall and a moving vehicle. To minimize the chances of this happening, machinery operators need to take precautions such as looking in all directions, keeping their speed down and signaling when they move. Workers on the ground also need to be aware of moving equipment and make sure to stay out of range instead of relying on the operator to stop in time.
Workers can also be injured when they are struck by a falling object. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings. Loose building materials, tools and machinery should always be secured to minimize the chances of falling. Even heavy objects can be displaced by a strong gust of wind or an accidental push, but a relatively small object can still cause damage if dropped from a height.
Even if a construction site follows all applicable safety regulations and best practices, accidents can still happen. Consult a knowledgeable lawyer to find out how you might be able to get compensation for your injuries.