What You Should Know About Construction Accidents
While everyone needs to make a living one way or another, some industries are more dangerous to work in than others. After all, the threat level of working in a department store is low compared to a firefighter. However, the construction industry is a particularly dangerous industry to work in for all employees. Even the safest worker in the world cannot 100% prevent construction accidents.
Often, these accidents are quite devastating. After all, most construction sites have heavy machinery and equipment that can cause immense amounts of damage if someone used them improperly. Not only that, but many workers are on tight deadlines and have to work at great heights or on unstable platforms. Even the slightest misstep can end in tragedy.
Construction accidents kill countless lives every year, injuring even more. Because construction sites have so many hazards, there are safety protocols they must follow. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys these protocols, which leads to construction accidents. The construction industry has more than seven million employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries every year.
Whether you suffered an injury on a construction site because of someone else’s negligence or lost a loved one in a construction accident, the construction accident attorneys at AMA Law are here to help. Give our Oklahoma personal injury law firm a call today.
Types of Construction Accidents
In 2018, 5,250 workers died on the job. Of those deaths, 1,008 were in the construction industry, meaning nearly one in five worker deaths were in construction. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatal injury rate in the construction industry is higher than the national average of all other occupations. The non-fatal injury rate is also 71% higher than anywhere else. That makes the construction industry the most dangerous.
When it comes to these accidents, OSHA has identified four hazards that account for over half (58%) of all construction worker deaths. They refer to these hazards as the “Fatal Four.” They are:
- Falls: 338 deaths (33.5%)
- Struck by an Object: 112 deaths (11.1%)
- Electrocutions: 86 deaths (8.5%)
- Caught-in or Between: 55 deaths (5.5%)
- Workers die when they get caught in or compressed by equipment or objects or struck, caught in, or crushed by collapsed objects, structures, or equipment.
By eliminating or at least reducing these four hazards, we can save hundreds of American workers’ lives.
Unfortunately, there are countless other construction accident causes that result in these injuries and even death. From recklessness and negligence to poorly maintained equipment, a host of factors can lead to construction accidents. Some of which include:
- Tripping hazards on jobs sites
- Improper protection for workers (safety helmets, straps to secure personnel working at great heights, etc.)
- Faulty equipment
- Slip and fall accidents
- Power tools with missing guards or protections
- Unsafe property conditions
- Lose or frayed electrical wiring
- Falling off of ladders
- Scaffolding giving away (due to being constructed improperly or poorly maintained)
- Vehicle accidents (involving forklifts, graders, backhoes, etc.)
- Crane accidents
- Protruding or unprotected steel rebars
- Inadequate training of equipment
- Using equipment while otherwise distracted
These are just a handful of other common causes of construction accidents. All workers on a construction site must work with extreme caution to ensure the safety of themselves as well as their coworkers.
Most Common Injuries
The above accidents can lead to a whole host of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in a construction accident:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Head injuries (such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI))
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
What to Do Following a Construction Accident
Nobody expects to get in an accident, let alone an accident at your place of work. However, that happens far too often on construction sites. These accidents are often devastating, resulting in significant injuries and even death. However, many of these accidents are often the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness.
If that is the case, there are some vital steps you need to take following your accident to ensure the success of your claim.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if your injuries don’t appear serious right away, still seek medical attention right after your accident. Some injuries take weeks to make themselves known. Having a medical professional document your injuries helps strengthen your case and allows you to seek compensation for treatment.
- Report the Accident: Unfortunately, countless construction accidents go unreported every year. Report your accident to your supervisor or whoever else is in charge. This documents the accident, which helps your case and might help workers in the future.
- Gather Evidence: Take pictures of your injuries and the scene of the accident to make sure you don’t miss anything. If there were eyewitnesses, collect their statements, as well as their contact information. Don’t forget to write down or record what happened in your own words immediately following the accident.
- Learn about Workers’ Compensation: By taking the time to learn about Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation laws, you put yourself in a better position to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. Also, you help yourself recover the damages you are due.
- Contact a Construction Accident Attorney: These accidents are complicated. You often have to go up against big organizations. However, an experienced construction accident attorney can help you navigate this situation to ensure you recover the damages you deserve.
Oklahoma Construction Accident Law Firm
Construction accidents are almost always complicated. When one occurs, the employer often tries to downplay the incident and the injuries, trying to persuade workers away from filing a claim. However, workers won’t receive the care or compensation they need and deserve, which will only impact their lives in the future.
Going up against your employer feels like a tall order, but it is often the only way to ensure that your injuries are covered. If you suffered injuries in a construction accident, contact one of our Oklahoma construction accident attorneys at AMA Law today.