FAQ: What Are the Most Common Construction Accidents? [2024 Guide]

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What Are the Most Common Construction Accidents? Let's Discuss.

Question: What are the most common construction accidents?

Answer: The most common construction accidents include falls from heights, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and injuries from heavy machinery.

These tragic accidents often lead to common construction injuries like fractures, lacerations, severe chronic conditions, and even death.

These injuries can result from inadequate safety measures, equipment malfunctions, or failure to follow proper procedures on construction sites.

On this page, we’ll discuss this question in further depth, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards, who qualifies to file lawsuits for construction accidents and injuries, and much more.

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An Overview of Construction Accidents and Risks that Construction Workers Face

The construction industry is inherently filled with hazards.

In 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted 169,600 non-fatal injuries and illnesses in this sector.

Workers in construction handle a variety of tasks, including heavy lifting and using power tools, often amidst dangerous materials.

The presence of large machinery, working at heights, and complex operations heighten the risk of accidents on site.

Despite adherence to safety measures, the likelihood of accidents remains significant.

Injuries in this field vary widely.

From minor scrapes to critical, life-changing harm, accidents on construction sites are pervasive.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a construction site accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for the construction accident lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Construction accidents frequently occur due to falls from heights, machinery malfunctions, electrocutions, being struck by objects, and collapse of trenches or scaffolding.

These incidents often result from a combination of unsafe work conditions, inadequate training, or failure to follow safety regulations.

Yes, if you are injured on a construction site, you may have the right to file a lawsuit.

The nature of your claim can vary based on the circumstances; it could be a personal injury lawsuit against negligent parties or a workers’ compensation claim.

Consulting with a lawyer experienced in construction accidents is crucial to understand your rights and the appropriate course of action.

Victims of construction accidents may receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, punitive damages.

The specific compensation depends on the injury’s severity, the impact on your ability to work, and the accident’s circumstances.

Contact an experienced construction accident lawyer for insight on your case.

Table of Contents

Most Common Accidents on Construction Sites: An Overview

Construction sites are notorious for their high-risk environments, often leading to accidents.

Construction site accidents can occur from operator errors, negligence, and more.

If a third party’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation.

These dangers underscore the critical need for stringent safety measures in the construction industry.

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The most common accidents on construction sites include the following:

  • Falls from heights
  • Injuries From Machinery and Equipment
  • Electrocutions and Electrical Shocks
  • Struck-By Accidents
  • Caught-In/Between Injuries
  • Ground Collapses
  • Chemical exposure
  • Burns, Explosions, and Demolition Accidents

Falls From Heights

Falls from heights and height related accidents are a pervasive risk in the construction industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), falls, slips, and trips accounted for one-third of fatal construction injuries in 2021.

This number includes 379 falls to lower levels and 11 falls on the same level.

Unprotected edges, unstable scaffolding, lack of safety gear, and inadequate fall protection contribute to this hazard.

The severity of these injuries resulting from height related accidents can vary depending on the height of the fall and the surface the victim lands on.

Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord damage are possible outcomes of falls from heights.

Following scaffold law and regulations, installing guardrails and safety nets, and encouraging the use of personal fall arrest systems can significantly reduce the risk of falls from heights on construction sites.

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Regular safety training on the appropriate use of fall protection equipment is crucial.

In the event of a fall, it is crucial that victims seek medical attention immediately.

Even a seemingly minor fall can result in serious injuries and internal damage that may not be immediately apparent.

Injuries From Machinery and Equipment

Powerful equipment and machinery are common on construction sites.

Heavy equipment such as cranes, forklifts, hoists, and backhoes pose significant hazards to construction workers.

Forklift accidents and hoist accidents are especially dangerous, typically resulting from operator errors.

Workers may suffer injuries if they are caught in moving parts or struck by objects that fall from these machines.

Smaller tools like power saws, drills, and nail guns can cause serious harm if used incorrectly.

Injuries from machinery and equipment can range from minor cuts and bruises to amputations, fractures, and death.

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In 2021, there were 196,140 injuries and 705 fatalities related to contact with objects and equipment.

To avoid accidents from machinery and equipment, employers must provide proper training on safe operation and maintenance.

All machines should have safety guards to protect workers from moving parts.

Regular inspections of equipment and tools are also vital to identify potential hazards.

Electrocutions and Electrical Shocks

Electrocutions and electrical shocks are another common cause of construction site injuries, with electrical injuries being the fourth leading cause of workplace-related death in the country.

Construction workers often come into contact with electrical wiring and high-voltage equipment, making them susceptible to electrical accidents.

Exposed wires, overhead or underground power lines, faulty equipment, and inadequate electrical safety precautions can all lead to severe accidents and injuries.

Electrical hazards can cause severe burns, heart problems, and nerve damage.

In cases of severe electric shock injuries, construction workers may also suffer from brain damage, paralysis, permanent disabilities, or death.

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To prevent electrocutions, employers should provide proper training and ensure that all employees are familiar with safe electrical practices and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling electricity.

Employers must ensure that all equipment and machinery undergo regular maintenance checks and employers are responsible for addressing any safety hazards immediately.

Moreover, employers must adequately warn on hazards, providing clear and visible signs around the construction zone, indicating high-voltage areas to avoid potential risks.

Struck-By Accidents

Falling objects are another common type of construction site accident.

Construction workers are often vulnerable to objects falling from above.

Unsecured objects such as tools, debris, and building materials can cause serious harm if they strike a construction worker.

Falling objects were responsible for 227 deaths in 2021.

Head injuries, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and fractures are typical injuries from falling debris.

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The use of hard hats can significantly mitigate the risk of such workplace injuries, but victims may still suffer from severe injuries even with full protective gear.

Employers must take necessary precautions to prevent falling objects, such as implementing strict protocols for securing tools and materials at heights and erecting toe boards, debris nets, and other protective barriers around work areas.

They must also regularly inspect the construction site to identify any potential hazards.

Workers must also undergo extensive training on the proper use of PPE, including hard hats.

Caught-In/Between Injuries

Caught-in or caught-between incidents are prevalent on construction sites.

These accidents happen when workers in a confined construction space become trapped, compressed, or crushed by heavy objects like machinery, equipment, or construction materials.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded 222 cases of fatal caught-in and caught-between accidents and injuries in 2021.

Accidents involving being caught in or between objects can lead to serious outcomes like amputations, broken bones, damage to internal organs, or fatalities.

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Prevention requires adequate training for workers in handling machinery and recognizing the significance of keeping a safe distance from both moving and stationary objects.

It’s crucial for employers to equip machinery and tools with safety guards and features to protect employees from getting trapped.

Enforcing lockout/tagout protocols and conducting routine maintenance can further reduce the risk of these types of incidents.

Ground Collapses

Ground collapses at construction sites are hazardous incidents where the earth unexpectedly gives way, posing a significant risk to workers and equipment.

Ground collapses often occur during excavation or trenching work, where the stability of the soil is compromised.

The causes can range from natural factors like heavy rainfall or poor soil conditions to human errors such as improper excavation techniques or failure to follow safety protocols.

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Ground collapses can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, especially if workers are trapped or buried under the debris.

To prevent such accidents, it’s crucial to conduct thorough ground assessments, use proper shoring techniques, and adhere to safety guidelines during excavation projects.

Chemical Exposure

In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) registered 36,840 cases of occupational injuries or illnesses caused by exposure to harmful substances and environments.

Toxic substances found on construction sites can cause skin irritation, chemical burns, respiratory issues, eye damage, and even long-term health problems, such as various types of cancer.

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Common chemicals construction workers may be exposed to include:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Silica dust
  • Mercury
  • Benzene
  • Paint fumes
  • Solvents
  • Welding fumes
  • Fiberglass
  • Formaldehyde
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Cadmium
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Methylene chloride

To prevent chemical exposure on construction sites, employers must provide proper training on handling and storing chemicals and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Workers must also understand the risks associated with each chemical on the job site.

Proper ventilation systems and regular air quality monitoring can also help prevent exposure to harmful substances.

Victims of chemical exposures on construction job sites are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced lawyer.

Burns, Explosions, and Demolition Accidents

Construction workers face risks of burns and explosions due to the handling of various tools, equipment, and potentially flammable materials on job sites.

In 2019, these hazards led to 1,700 injuries, escalating to 76 fatalities in 2021.

Factors such as gas leaks, electrical malfunctions, and mishandling of combustible substances contribute to these accidents, leading not only to burns but also respiratory injuries and other severe harm.

Additionally, workers are exposed to heat stress from high temperatures or prolonged sun exposure, particularly in summer, causing fatigue, dizziness, dehydration, and even heat stroke.

Demolition accidents on construction sites pose significant risks, often leading to injuries from falling debris or structural collapses.

In the process of dismantling structures, workers are exposed to unpredictable shifts in building stability, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

These incidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor bruises to critical ones like fractures or even fatalities.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Safety Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency in the United States, part of the Department of Labor.

Its primary purpose is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for employees by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

OSHA’s role is critical in safeguarding the well-being of workers across various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare.

OSHA works diligently to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through a combination of regulations, inspections, and guidance.

OSHA develops safety standards and regulations that employers must follow to protect their employees from potential hazards.

Regular inspections and audits are conducted to ensure compliance with these standards.

Unfortunately, some employers cut corners and ignore safety regulations to save time and money.

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OSHA listed the 10 most frequently cited safety violations in 2022, including:

  1. Fall Protection (Construction)
  2. Hazard Communication (General Industry)
  3. Ladders (Construction)
  4. Respiratory Protection (General Industry)
  5. Scaffolding (Construction)
  6. Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout) (General Industry)
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (General Industry)
  8. Fall Protection Training (Construction)
  9. Eye and Face Protection (Construction)
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding (General Industry)

Half of these common violations occurred in the construction industry, which resulted in many serious injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Employers face severe penalties and fines for violating OSHA standards, including potential shutdowns of job sites.

Injured workers and surviving family members of wrongful deaths also pursue legal actions against employers who failed to follow OSHA standards.

Lawsuits for Construction Accidents and Injuries

Construction injury victims often grapple with not just physical pain and emotional distress, but also substantial financial strain, including medical bills and income loss.

Construction injuries might lead to enduring disabilities, hampering the victim’s capacity to work and secure financial stability.

Families of the injured may confront the impact of diminished earnings or, in tragic instances of fatalities, funeral expenses and the emotional distress of losing a loved one.

Those who have suffered injuries, or families bereaved by construction site fatalities, may be eligible to seek compensation.

Depending on the specifics of the case, they can seek a workers’ compensation claim and/or initiate a personal injury lawsuit against liable parties, which could include employers, contractors, or even equipment producers.

In certain situations, additional parties, like architects or engineers responsible for a flawed design, could be held accountable for contributing to construction-related injuries.

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If you or a loved one were injured on a construction site, you may be eligible to take legal action against the responsible party and secure a full and fair recovery.

Contact the Construction Accident Lawyers at TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

Use the chatbot on this page for a free and instant case evaluation.

The Importance of a Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction accident lawyers play a pivotal role in assisting victims of construction injuries.

In the aftermath of an injury, your construction accident lawyer will help you through the legal process and take care of the intricate aspects of filing a case so that you can focus on your health and recovery.

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Experienced construction accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation, gathering evidence and assessing damages, among other crucial steps.

Gathering Evidence for Construction Accident Cases

Evidence is extremely important in personal injury lawsuits for construction workers.

While this is a step of the process you can begin on your own, your attorney will help you gather evidence for your case.

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Possible evidence in construction accident cases may include:

  • Medical bills and reports
  • Accident scene photos and videos
  • Witness statements
  • Construction site safety records
  • Medical reports and records
  • Workers’ compensation claims
  • Employer incident reports
  • Machinery and equipment maintenance logs
  • Construction project plans and blueprints
  • Employee training records
  • Surveillance footage from the site
  • OSHA inspection reports
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Personal protective equipment used
  • Communication records (emails, memos)
  • Contractor and subcontractor agreements

Damages in Construction Accident Lawsuits

Damages refer to the total losses, economic and non-economic, incurred as a result of construction accidents.

An experienced attorney can help victims assess and calculate damages relevant to their case.

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Possible damages in construction accident cases may include:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Permanent disability
  • Wrongful death (funeral and burial expenses)
  • Punitive damages (in cases of gross negligence)

TorHoerman Law: Construction Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, TorHoerman Law is here to help.

We specialize in construction accident lawsuits and are committed to securing justice and fair compensation for injured workers.

Our team of experienced construction injury lawyers will handle every aspect of your case, allowing you to focus on healing and recovery.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a construction accident lawsuit instantly.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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