Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Monday, May 1, 2017

Common Construction Site Injuries and Their Causes

Construction workers are particularly prone to injury, due to the nature of their work. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), one in every ten workplace injuries occurs in a construction site. This startling figure is attributed to the high-risk environment that is a construction site: heavy machinery, hard metal and steel bars, exposed wiring, hazardous chemicals and tall heights.

Construction companies are required by law to ensure construction sites are kept reasonably safe for workers. If an employer negligently fails in providing a safe working environment, they are responsible for any injuries that arise as a result of that failure. If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction site, talk to a New York construction accidents lawyer to assess the possibility of a claim for negligence.

Common Construction Site Injuries

  1. Burns - Burns are caused by explosions or fires. Explosions and fires are actually very common at construction sites. They occur when water from leaking pipes gets into contact with exposed wiring or when inflammable chemicals are sparked.

    Burns can also be caused from welding, electrocution and exposure to hazardous chemicals. They cause physical scarring. In extreme cases, severe burns can cause disfigurement and even death.
  2. Head Injuries - One of the most common construction site injuries, head injuries are caused by falling objects such as rocks or metal tools. These cause head lacerations, severe concussions, trauma and brain damage.

    Head injuries can happen even if a person was wearing protective clothing such as a hard hat.
  3. Spinal Cord Injuries - These injures arise from falls from ladders, high windows, roofs, cranes and scaffolding. Spinal injuries can cause paralysis, permanent disability and even death.
  4. Broken or Fractured Bones - These injuries occur when heavy machines such as cranes and bulldozers run over workers or crush them in between walls. They also occur when machines such as forklifts fail to work normally, knocking down and injuring nearby workers. 
    If a bone fracture was caused by a faulty machine, the injured worker may have a claim against the manufacturer of the machine for product liability.
  5. Cuts and Gashes - These injuries are caused by faulty tools such as nail guns that misfire and saws that detach from their handles. They can also be caused by exposed nails or unsecured tools. Cuts and gashes cause sharp pain and severe bleeding. If not treated on time, they may get infected causing further harm to the body.
  6. Exertion Injuries - Construction workers work long hours in the day and night under extreme temperatures. This can cause injuries related to over exertion including: heat stress leading to brain and kidney damage, hypothermia which can lead to the loss of fingers or limbs, and muscle damage.
  7. Respiratory Illnesses - Between 1990 and 1999, over 1,000 construction workers died from pneumoconiosis, a chronic disease associated with long exposure to dust in construction sites and coal mines. Other common respiratory conditions include asbestosis linked to asbestos exposure and silicosis linked to silica exposure.

Employers are required to take measures to protect workers from reasonably foreseeable work place injuries. The same standard exists in the construction industry. If a contractor fails in this duty, he/she will have acted negligently.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site as a result of the negligence of someone, consult a New York personal injury attorney to evaluate your claim for compensation. Contact the law firm of Wellborn Paluch, LLP for a consultation today.


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