Common Injuries for Construction Workers
Construction workers are at risk for a number of injuries based on their occupation and proximity to heavy equipment. In 2018, 4,779 work fatalities were recorded, and 21.1% of those deaths were construction workers. While there are many injuries common in construction, OSHA has coined the phrase “Fatal Four” to refer to four types of accidents that often are responsible for more than half of construction worker fatalities.
OSHA’s Fatal Four
Construction is dangerous, and yet, it’s essential to our lives from jobs to homes. The construction industry sees many different types of injuries. But the fatal four are the following: falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between situations. Construction workers should be extremely cautious while working.
While the fatal four are statistically the biggest concern for construction workers, there are still a wide array of safety hazards and health risks that they may come across while at work.
Quick List of the Most Common Injuries for Construction Workers
- Back Injury – heavy lifting, steep falls, repetitive motion
- Head Injury – falling debris, falls
- Eye Injury – air particles, debris, and more
- Knee Injury – heavy lifting, repetitive motion, debris-obstructed pathway
- Crushing Injury – project collapse, trench collapse, equipment failure
- Burn Injury – chemical hazards, flammable materials, surprise explosions
- Heatstroke Injury – harsh work environments, long hours, extreme heat
- Respiratory Disease – Asbestos, Black Lung, Chronic Pneumonia
- Hearing Injury – loud machinery, repetitive noises, explosions
- Muscle Injury – heavy lifting, repetitive motion
While many of these injuries can be avoided with the right safety measures in place, some are just accidents. Construction workers should do their best to wear protective clothing and know the various risks involved with their work, choosing to make smart decisions based on their construction area.
Common Injuries for Construction Workers: The Causes
Construction injuries stem from many different causes. Some causes of injury can be easy to spot, but many injuries are the result of prolonged exposure to harmful substances or environments, compounding physical damage, or other underlying causes. As stated above, OSHA notes the fatal four causes of fatalities in the construction industry but doesn't account for the even larger number of injuries that result from these causes.
Trips and Falls
Construction workers are much more likely to experience dangerous falls due to their line of work. From cranes to roofs to ladders to scaffolding, construction workers often operate at dangerous heights.
Hard hats are an effective piece of equipment that construction workers should wear at all times while on site, but hard hats cannot protect workers from all forms of falling debris. From old materials, to loose tools to scaffolding, falling debris can cause major harm.
Heavy machinery comes with a variety of risks. Equipment can misfire, stop working properly, or fail in some way. In such situations, the equipment may fall into the category of product liability.
Squished or Crushed
Construction sites often mean large machinery such as trucks and more. Workers can be caught between the large vehicle and other items.
In some cases, a project may have an accidental collapse. A building or trench could collapse, injuring, trapping, or killing workers who are stuck.
Construction workers come in contact with dangerous chemicals and dust particles while working on projects. Workers often face sites that have Asbestos, Silica, and other hazards.
Have you been injured while working in a construction site? Speak with a lawyer today to determine your next steps under the law by emailing email@example.com.