Construction sites are extremely hazardous workplaces. When proper safety precautions are not taken and safety protocol is not followed, they can become even more dangerous — and serious injuries can result. Unfortunately, some workplace hazards are more common than others. If you were injured in a construction accident caused by a third party’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover your damages in a personal injury action.
The following seven hazards commonly arise in the construction industry:
1. Falls From Heights
According to OSHA, falls from heights are one of the leading causes of injury and fatality on construction jobsites. These types of accidents can arise when workers are not provided with proper fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets, or a personal fall arrest system. Other causes of height-related falls can include faulty scaffolding, inadequate training, poorly maintained platforms, and failure to follow safety protocol.
2. Trips, Slips, and Falls
Trips, slips, and falls are common construction site hazards that can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, nerve damage, concussion, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, and soft tissue injuries. Such accidents can be caused by poor housekeeping on the worksite, debris, liquid spills, improper lighting, and failure to mark any hazards or changes in elevation with adequate signage. Trips, slips, and fall hazards can be avoided with regular inspections, training, and by having proper maintenance procedures in place.
3. Excavation Accidents
Excavation is a critical stage of the construction process that involves digging, trenching, and removing earth to prepare the ground for installing utility lines and other structures. It is also one of the most dangerous phases of construction — and severe accidents can occur if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Common hazards that can arise during excavation can include cave-ins, falls, falling loads, and accidents involving machinery. These accidents can happen because of a third-party’s negligence in failing to perform adequate inspections, provide a worker with proper protective gear, or conduct a comprehensive soil analysis.
4. Scaffolding Collapses
Scaffolds are essential to construction, allowing workers to perform their tasks at elevated heights. However, improperly erected scaffolds, overloading, lack of inspection, defective pulleys, and other dangerous conditions can lead to collapses that cause a worker to suffer serious injuries or even fatality. A worker who was hurt in a scaffolding collapse accident may be entitled to recover their damages in a personal injury action if a third-party’s carelessness is to blame.
5. Electrical Hazards
There are a wide variety of electrical hazards on construction sites that can lead to serious injuries. For instance, contact with live wires can cause severe burns, electric shock, and even cardiac arrest. Faulty wiring or damaged electrical equipment can result in fires and explosions. Other hazards that give rise to electrical hazards can include improper grounding, overloaded circuits, and inadequate training.
6. Defective Machinery Accidents
Construction accidents involving faulty or defective machinery can cause a worker to suffer catastrophic injuries. Defective machinery accidents are often caused by lack of maintenance, faulty manufacturing, deteriorating components, and lack of training. Depending on the circumstances, there are a variety of third parties who may be held liable for a defective machinery accident, including manufacturers, machinery operators, contractors, and subcontractors.
7. Hazardous Materials and Chemicals
Corrosive chemicals, flammable liquids, and toxic gases are all regularly used in construction. Critically, accidents involving hazardous materials and chemicals on construction sites can be caused by a wide variety of factors. If workers are not trained in the use, handling, and storage of hazardous materials — and safety protocol is not implemented — the consequences can be devastating. Accidents can also occur due to mislabeling and improper transportation of chemicals.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you are a construction worker who was hurt on the job due to the negligence of a third-party, you may be eligible to file a personal injury action to recover your economic and non-economic damages. Due to our extensive knowledge and commitment to clients, The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP regularly obtains substantial settlements and verdicts for construction workers who have been injured due to the carelessness of another.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP is a personal injury law firm committed to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.