Top 9 Construction Accidents Causing Injuries
In every workplace, there are certain rules that employers must follow to ensure that employees are safe. When employers fail or violate these rules, employees become injured. An example of these rules includes OSHA Rules, which are rules published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, these are not the only rules that employers must follow.
While every workplace faces its own hazards, construction workers are exposed to hazardous conditions every day while performing their jobs.
There are common injuries that occur on construction sites in the Chicago area and the rest of Illinois. These common injuries include:
- Falls from Heights and Scaffolding Failures
- Slips and Falls
- Falling objects, Debris, Materials, and Equipment
- Crushed between Equipment, Objects, and Materials
- Fires and Explosions
- Hit by Motor Vehicles
- Trench Collapses
In construction, it is often necessary to use scaffolding to perform daily job duties. With heights that may reach hundreds of feet, falls from scaffolding result in catastrophic and often fatal injuries. Falls from scaffolding account for nearly 25% of fatal falls from all working sites.
Approximately 72% of scaffold injuries are caused:
- When the scaffold cannot appropriately support weight due to either a defective part of the scaffold or improper assembly of the scaffold.
- When a construction worker slips on the scaffold because the walking surface of the scaffold is slick and not properly maintained or because the scaffold lacks guardrails.
- When equipment, materials, and other debris fall from high points and hit the scaffold.
The specific injuries that occur in falls from scaffolding include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, amputations, and catastrophic bone fractures.
Slips and Falls
It is common for construction sites to have a lot of equipment, materials, and debris in areas that must be kept clear and safe. When an employer violates or fails to follow these rules, workers will trip, slip, or fall on equipment, materials, and debris that should have been stored in a different location or in areas that should have been cleaned properly.
Pedestrians who are walking by and around construction sites may also trip, slip, or fall on equipment, materials, and debris that are kept in areas that should be free from hazards.
Every year, electrocutions account for a large number of construction site injuries. This includes electrocution caused by direct contact with power sources, equipment malfunctions, and lightning strikes. Electrocution injuries may be life-threatening and result in severe burns, muscle pain, and unconsciousness.
Falling Objects, Debris, Materials, and Equipment
Falling objects, debris, materials, and equipment represent a common cause of construction site injuries in Illinois and throughout the United States. Injuries caused by falling objects, debris, materials, and equipment can result in severe, permanent, and sometimes fatal injuries. Both construction site workers and pedestrians are at risk of being injured by falling objects, debris, materials, and equipment if employers do not follow the rules to keep workers and pedestrians safe.
Crushed Between Equipment, Objects, and Materials
Construction workers may often become wedged between, or crushed by, equipment, machines, objects, or other materials at a job site. This is called a crush injury. Crush injuries are severe, permanent and sometimes fatal because crush injuries can cause broken bones, damage to internal organs, nerve damage, and psychological harm that comes from the trauma of being crushed.
Crush injuries occur when employers fail to take necessary steps to warn workers about a dangerous condition, fail to teach workers how to properly operate, clean, or repair equipment or machines, fail to keep workers safe when the employer knows the equipment, machines, objects, or other materials at a job site will result in crush injuries, or when there is a product defect with the equipment or machine.
Fires and Explosions
Construction workers may be injured by fires and explosions that occur at construction sites. In construction, workers often deal with chemicals, gases, or other flammable materials that can injure the worker. Fires and explosions are also caused by heavy-duty machinery or equipment creating sparks when proper safety equipment is not worn or when the employer fails to teach or ensure that workers are following proper safety procedures and protocols.
Fires and explosions can result in severe burns that cause injuries to nerves, permanent scarring on the skin, long and intensive treatment, and severe pain.
Employers must also ensure that construction workers are given breaks required by law so construction workers can stay hydrated and nourished. If construction workers do not stay hydrated and nourished, that can lead to dehydration, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and hospitalization in severe cases.
Hit by Motor Vehicles
Construction workers may be hit by passing cars. Construction workers are hit by passing cars when the driver of the car is negligent or when the employer is negligent. A construction site employer is negligent when it fails to provide proper safety equipment to workers or fails to put out appropriate signs to indicate construction workers are on site.
Construction workers who are hit by passing vehicles can suffer severe, permanent, and even fatal injuries.
A trench is a long, narrow ditch that is used in construction to install, maintain, or inspect pipelines, cables, or other underground materials.
Construction workers may sustain severe and permanent injuries when the trench is not properly marked with signs and warnings or when the trench does not have the necessary structure to keep it from caving in. Falling into a trench can cause life-threatening injuries because trenches are typically deep and a construction worker may be crushed and suffocated by the dirt that slides into the trench on top of the construction worker if the trench is not properly supported.
Victims of Construction Accidents Must Protect Their Legal Rights
If you were injured at a construction site, consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and interests. Construction site injuries often involve worker’s compensation claims. Worker’s compensation claims involve deadlines that are set by statute. It is important to retain an attorney to make sure that you are not missing any worker’s compensation deadlines.
In all legal matters, including worker’s compensation claims or personal injury claims, there is a specific time period that someone has to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations. If a claim is not filed within the amount of time set by the statute of limitations, then a person may be barred from bringing that claim. Consulting with an accident attorney as soon as you are able protects your rights to bring a personal injury claim or worker’s compensation claim if you are injured at a construction site.
Do You Have a Construction Accident Case in Chicago or Northern Illinois?
Schedule a Case Review with the Chicago Construction Accident Lawyers at Vinkler Law Offices.
Our accident attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing victims and families injured or harmed at construction sites in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From wrongful death to catastrophic injuries suffered on construction job sites, our award-winning personal injury law firm is ready to put our expertise to work for you. Contact Vinkler Law Offices today to schedule a free case evaluation.