Construction work sites can be dangerous locations for workers of all skill levels. Knowing what the risks are for injuries and even fatalities can help you be better prepared for a safer workplace. Today, we will discuss how the most common types of construction accidents occur as well as what workers should keep an eye out for.
OSHA’s “Fatal Four” Construction Site Accidents
There are four main construction accident types that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA describes as the “Fatal Four.” These accident types are the main reasons behind workplace fatalities on construction sites.
According to OSHA, falls make up roughly 33.5% of fatalities on construction sites. These are also some of the more common types of construction accidents that happen on-site. These injuries can occur for a variety of reasons. Obstructions on flooring, holes in the floor, misuse of portable ladders, improper scaffolding, and railings that are not properly protected or reinforced are all common reasons for these types of injuries to occur.
2. Getting Struck by Objects
Workers who get struck by objects make up roughly 11.1% of fatalities on construction sites. Falling objects can occur because of accidents on-site, moving vehicles, and other incidents where objects can be projected into the air or fall off of high areas.
About 8.5% of fatal construction-related accidents happen because of electrocution. These incidents can occur because of contact with power lines, a lack of ground fault protection, misuse of equipment, and misuse of extension and flexible cords.
4. Getting Caught in Between Objects
Roughly 5.5% of fatalities on construction sites occur because workers get caught in between objects on the job site. This can happen if there are cave-ins or trenching and excavation that result in workers getting trapped. Falling loads, hazards associated with heavy equipment, and other incidents can account for workers getting trapped in between objects.
Other Types of Common Construction Site Accidents
Aside from the “Fatal Four,” other types of serious construction accidents can occur on-site. While they may not rank as the deadliest types, they can still pose a threat and bring on lasting consequences.
5. Injuries Involving Heavy Machinery
Heavy machinery including cranes, hoists, forklifts, and other machines are common causes of construction site injuries. Misuse of this machinery, a lack of training, errors in operation, and other factors can all lead to hazardous conditions that allow injuries to occur.
6. Gas Leaks, Fires, and Explosions
Injuries associated with gas leaks, fires, and explosions can come on suddenly and without warning. Because of the unexpected nature of these events, injuries can often be severe and even fatal. These types of events can especially be dangerous if they occur in a confined area.
7. Repeated Stress Injuries
Injuries related to repeated movements can cause undue stress on a worker’s body. These repeated movements can eventually cause a worker to suffer an injury. Some common repetitive stress injuries can include back injuries, knee injuries, broken bones, and sprains.
8. Elevator Shaft Accidents
Elevator shafts are a familiar feature at construction sites, especially if workers are stationed on several levels. Failing to follow proper safety protocols and procedures can easily lead to injuries on elevator shafts.
9. Exposures to Chemicals and Toxins
Not using proper personal protective equipment or PPE can cause an individual to inhale vapors of toxic chemicals. For individuals working in an environment where toxic fumes from gasses or harsh chemicals are a constant theme, it’s important to wear proper protective gear to avoid injury to your skin and organs.
Have You Suffered a Workplace Injury?
You may be entitled to compensation if you have suffered a workplace injury. While all cases are different, some cases can go beyond a simple workers’ comp claim. If you have questions about your workplace injury, reach out to one of our experienced attorneys today. At the Kohn Law Firm, we will fight for your right to a safe workplace and walk you through the nuances that come with personal injury law. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.