According to OSHA, four types of situations cause more than 50 percent of all construction site injuries: falls, electrocution, being struck by something, and being caught in between things. While accidents do happen, many of these injuries occur because site management fails to adequately protect workers from dangerous workplace circumstances.
The most prevalent danger to your safety as a construction worker is the threat of falling — off ladders, down stairs, off scaffolding, or from roofs. In many cases, falls happen because the site lacks the safety precautions and features that would keep workers safe, such as harness systems, railings, and barriers. The failure to provide adequate fall protection to on-site workers accounts for a significant percentage of OSHA-related violation citations.
OSHA’s definition of an electrical hazard is a situation that exposes a person to a large amount of electricity. That electric shock can come from insufficiently contained electrical circuitry, improperly managed electrical conductors, or failed wiring systems, such as frayed cords or faulty electrical outlets. Malfunctioning electrical equipment can cause burns or shocks, and construction accidents caused by electrical systems and equipment failures are second only to falls on OSHA’s list of construction site violations.
Injuries resulting from being struck by something are the basis of many construction accident cases. On sites with heavy machinery such as dump trucks or graders, equipment drivers sometimes fail to see the workers behind or around their machines. Smart management prevents these tragedies by keeping workers out of the way of large machinery. Other strikes that cause worker injuries can include objects falling on top of laborers, such as tools falling from higher floors or earthen walls that collapse and crush trench workers. There are rules in place to ensure safe and adequate barricades to prevent these injuries; violation of the rules can result in liability against the employer.
Heavy machinery can also crush a worker between it and walls, other machines, or the ground. These injuries are often the result of driver error or a mismanaged construction site.
This construction season, stay alert to avoid a situation where any of these injuries might happen. Although construction accidents in Ohio happen less frequently than in other states, every job site can pose hazards to its workers.
If you are injured while at work on a construction site, seek medical help immediately, and report the incident to your employer or workers’ compensation agent. Depending on the circumstances, you may need the support of an Ohio construction accident lawyer to regain your health, your career, or your peace of mind.
Image provided by Martin Stabenfeldt under the creative commons attribution 2.o generic license.