Construction sites are inherently dangerous places. This is shown by the fact that the private construction industry had more workplace deaths in Florida than any other industry in 2021. This should not be surprising given the nature of various construction trades. Below are ten of the more common causes of construction accidents in our state. Fortunately, the law protects you if you have suffered an accident such as this. If you have been hurt on the job, contact us today to speak with a Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney.
There are various types of vehicles on any construction site. These include heavy equipment such as bulldozers, forklifts, etc. Also included are large semi trucks and smaller trucks which may enter a construction site to drop off building materials. It is not uncommon for such vehicles to back over a worker or otherwise strike them while it is moving around the site.
Falls From High Areas
Many construction workers are required to work in areas high off the ground. Some may be standing on scaffolding while others are required to walk high in the air on iron beams. The risk of falling from such heights is extreme. This is why falls were one of the leading causes of workplace deaths in Florida in 2021. In situations where a fall is not lethal, it is quite common for injuries to be severe enough that the injured worker is not able to return to their profession. They may be required to seek permanent disability as a result. Such injuries can include severe damage to the neck, spine, or other areas.
Being Hit By An Object
Construction sites regularly have objects being moved from one floor to another. This can come from items being hoisted by a crane, someone pulling items or equipment up to another floor with a rope, etc. If such an item falls, then there may very well be someone below it who is injured. Such injuries can range from broken bones to neck injuries to lifelong neurological damage if one is hit in the head.
Faulty equipment can lead to a great number of construction site injuries. This can include everything from cables which break to acetylene tanks that explode. The reasons for such equipment failures can range from the items simply not being properly maintained by the construction company or, in some situations, the equipment may have a factory defect. These types of malfunctions can lead to parts of the structure falling or, tragically, a worker being burned to death.
Slipping Or Tripping Hazards
There are a large number of slipping and tripping hazards on any construction site. Such hazards can include the various cables, hoses, and lines which are often strung from one end of the site to another. They can also include equipment left laying out as well as spilled liquids. Unfortunately, falls sometimes happen near an open area and, as a result, the worker may fall multiple floors.
Construction sites often have temporary flooring or decking that allows work to go on in a given area. If such flooring is not installed properly, or if it simply gives way, then a worker is likely to fall a substantial distance. This can also result in objects, as well as people, landing on the floors below. These types of incidents can result in severe injuries and even death.
Construction of a building often means working in a partially completed structure that does not have air conditioning yet. During the summer months, this can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration. Furthermore, those in certain professions, such as welders, are required to wear several layers of protective clothing while working near an extreme heat source. The fact that overheating and dehydration occurs on construction sites should come as no surprise.
There can be a large number of toxic and dangerous substances on a construction site. These substances can be in liquid, powder, or aerosol form. Depending on the nature of the substance, a worker may immediately become ill if they are exposed to it. Other substances, by contrast, can lead to illness through repetitive exposure. The illnesses which stem from toxic exposure can range from something which causes someone discomfort for the rest of their life to those which cause premature death.
There are a number of ways in which one can be electrocuted on a construction site. There is an obvious risk to those who work with electrical systems, such as electricians or various installers. Also, it is not uncommon for there to be exposed electrical leads which can lead to someone being unknowingly exposed to a lethal shock. Even if the shock one receives is not lethal, electrocutions can lead to burns, permanent scarring, and long-lasting injuries.
Fires Or Explosions
Many trades work with combustible materials. Such materials create an explosive hazard. These can include chemicals that are meant to be applied to surfaces. They can also include gasses or liquids, such as acetylene which is used for powering cutting torches, that are used in the scope of one’s work. If these materials are not stored properly, then the risk of explosion becomes obvious. Also, there are many flammable objects on any job site. These range from cardboard boxes to lumber and more.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Attorney if You Have Been Injured in a Construction Accident
If you have been injured in a construction accident, then you have rights that must be protected. The first step in such a matter is to immediately inform your supervisor of the injury and to seek medical care. It is also important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The system for dealing with such claims can be quite complicated and it is important that you handle your case directly. Contact us online to speak with a Fort Lauderdale workers’ compensation attorney. We look forward to speaking with you.