Four Categories of the Most Common Construction Safety Accidents That Cause Injuries
Construction site accidents can happen in many different ways, and many of these accidents and injuries are preventable. According to a recent report, we can group the most common construction injuries and safety accidents into four different categories – electrical incidents, falls, struck-by accidents, and trenching and evacuation accidents. What do you need to know about each of these categories?
Electrical incidents are a construction injury that can be caused by many different factors. Most often, workers get hurt when they come into contact with power lines, or when equipment, including extensions cords, are not used properly. Like preventable electrical incidents, falls can be prevented with attention to safety needs. Protection from falls from heights are of utmost importance. These fall-related injuries occur most often when scaffolds are constructed poorly, when their sides are unprotected, or when ladders are not used properly.
With proper safety equipment and maintenance, struck-by construction injuries can also be avoided. As the report explains, “in the great majority of cases, cranes and trucks are the main cause of accidents and deaths.” Falling objects as well as walls can also strike workers, causing serious and fatal injuries. While we often think primarily of cave-ins when we consider trenching and excavation work accidents, this work actually involves many different types of risks. Most often, construction workers suffer injuries in trenching and excavation work from a lack of oxygen, inhaling toxic fumes, or drowning.
Most Frequent Construction Injuries That Are Also OSHA Safety Violations
According to a fact sheet from OSHA, falls are the leading cause of serious and fatal construction work accidents and injuries, resulting in nearly 40% of all fatal injuries in 2016. In total, 5,190 workers suffered on-the-job fatal injuries in 2016, and more than 20% of those fatalities were in the construction industry.
However, construction safety violations occur for many different reasons. In 2017, OSHA conducted more than 32,000 federal inspections and more than 43,500 State Plan inspections. The agency has approximately 2,100 inspectors who are responsible for ensuring the safety of more than eight million workers, many of whom are employed by construction companies and consider construction sites to be their primary workplaces. The following were the most commonly cited construction injuries that were also OSHA safety violations in 2017:
- Fall protection;
- Hazard communication procedures;
- Scaffolding safety requirements;
- Respiratory protection;
- Hazardous energy control;
- Ladder safety;
- Powered industrial truck safety regulations;
- Requirements for machinery and machine guarding;
- Training to prevent fall protection; and
- Electrical wiring methods and equipment safety.
If you were injured in a construction accident, you should discuss your case with a construction accident attorney. A construction injury attorney will help you determine your rights and seek financial compensation on your behalf for your injuries.