Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Jobs in construction can be dangerous work. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported in 2018 that one in five worker deaths were in the construction field. More than half of those deaths were caused by the “Fatal Four” types of accidents, topped by falls and being struck.
Some reasons for construction worker injuries due to falls could be:
- Obstructed walkways
- Uneven or unstable flooring
- Falling from ladders, scaffolding, or other elevated surfaces
- Unmarked hazardous areas
- Lack of railings
While many construction sites are in buildings that are by their very nature incomplete, employers still have an obligation to mitigate risks to their workers. In fact, New York has specific statutes to protect employees from these risks, such as New York Labor (LAB) Law §240 and LAB §241. For instance, scaffolding must be able to bear four times the maximum weight that is planned for its use. There are also requirements for how flooring and elevators are used. Failure to follow these guidelines, resulting in accident and injury, constitutes negligence.
Falls can cause injuries ranging from bruises and sprains to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and death. If you fell on the job in a way that you think was not part of the inherent risk of the workplace, a construction accident lawyer serving Smithtown could explain your options for pursuing compensation.
Being Struck by an Object
Another of the “Fatal Four” accidents is being struck by an object at a worksite. Falling debris could cause head injuries or lead to broken bones. Perhaps a coworker struck you with some form of equipment while operating it. Being struck by an object accounted for 11% of worker deaths, so this form of construction safety should be taken seriously. If you were injured by a falling or moving object, your voice should be heard not only to fight for compensation for what you have suffered, but also to help improve workplace safety.
Electrical or Equipment Accidents
Construction workers often operate specialized tools, heavy machinery, and electrical equipment. While some malfunctions may occur without negligence, others may have been avoided with proper oversight and precautions. Accidents involving electrical components or machinery could result in electrocution or compression injuries from being crushed or struck by equipment.
In some cases, these accidents are not the fault of anyone at the worksite, but are due to manufacturing errors, design flaws, or other product defects. Product liability law can make it complicated to understand who can be held responsible. However, make no mistake—if a piece of machinery or equipment was indeed defective as a result of negligence, someone can be held liable for the error.
To learn more about the legal options that may be available to you, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. at (631) 451-7900.