Due to using large machinery, working at elevated heights, and lifting heavy objects, construction work is inherently risky. However, even though the job comes with risks, there are many ways that injury can be minimized for construction workers and passersby alike. In the fast-paced world of New York specifically, great care needs to be taken to keep workers safe.
The causes of construction accidents are numerous, but can be broken down into two broad categories: fatal injuries (known as “The Fatal Four” in the construction world) and non-fatal injuries.
The Fatal Four: Causes of Construction Accident Deaths
OSHA has outlined the four most common causes for fatality in construction workers. They are as follows:
- A fall from any height can be devastating, but a fall for a construction worker can be deadly. Due to inexperience, negligence, or just accidents; construction workers and those responsible for their safety need to take steps to minimize the chance of falls.
- Struck by Object. In a fast-paced, constantly changing construction site, heavy beams and the like are moving quickly. Safety practices need to be in place to prevent workers from being struck and killed by objects.
- if proper precautions are not taken to shield high voltage lines, or if tools are improperly maintained, electrocutions can occur.
- “Caught Between.” Construction sites need to clearly define where all workers are located while large objects are being moved. If someone is improperly positioned while a heavy object is in motion, a situation could ensue in which the worker is trapped between objects. In this case, he may lose his life due to suffocation or crush injuries.
Non-Fatal Causes of Construction Accidents
While accidents at construction sites certainly can result in death, non-fatal accidents at construction sites can create lifelong issues as well:
- Muscle Strains from Improper Lifting. Workers need to be trained on proper lifting techniques, and these techniques need to be reinforced and retaught frequently.
- Injuries Caused by Hand Tools. In some circumstances, a defective hand tool may result in loss of life, but more often, minor injuries occur. However, all injuries can become long-lasting or lifetime problems if not properly addressed.
- Dropping Objects on Foot or Hand. A foot or hand injury is unlikely to result in death, but if a construction worker loses function in either his feet or his hands, he may be out of work for quite some time.
While this is far from an exhaustive list of potential causes of injury, the above items provide a general idea of safety considerations that must be made at construction sites by all those responsible for workers safety.
While many steps can and should be taken to prevent construction workers from suffering injuries, unfortunately accidents do happen. When they do, those affected need to be know their rights.
If you have been seriously injured in such an accident, it’s important to consider retaining the services of a qualified and experienced New York construction accident lawyer. Any questions you may have regarding your case will be addressed by knowledgeable attorneys.