The field of construction involves some of the most dangerous kind of work you will find in the US workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 775 fatal work injuries in the private construction sector in 2012, which represents a 5 percent increase from 2011. Construction work fatalities account for 17.6 percent of the 4,383 workplace fatalities across the private sector in 2012.
These numbers reflect the incredibly high level of risk construction worksites
pose. And because of that unusually high level of risk, developers and
construction firms bare a high level of responsibility to maintain their
sites with the highest possible safety standards.
These are among the most common types of injuries suffered on construction sites.
Falls: Two kinds of falls occur most commonly on construction sites: Falls from significant heights and falls on the same level. Construction workers are often tasked with working on scaffolding or on roofs or great heights. Falls can happen when safety precautions are not maintained or when workplace safety protocols are not met for such conditions.
Falls on the same level occur in any number of situations but most commonly in what is called a 'slip and fall' accident. (See our blog post on liability in slip and fall cases). With the myriad of tools, supplies, and debris on construction worksites at any given time, these types of falls are very common.
Electrocutions: Because construction sites often involve building powerline systems for a developing project, exposed live wiring and unfinished electrical systems are commonly encountered by construction workers. As a result, injuries or even death from electrocution and shock are prevalent on work sites.
Hit by Falling Objects: Construction sites often include multiple levels of structures in varying degrees of development at any given time. With tools, materials and debris constantly in use, objects fall regularly in construction zones. Hardhats are a must, but still no match for heavy tools or objects falling from multiple stories high.
Fire: Again, unfinished electrical systems, along with leaking gas and open piping systems, can be the cause of explosions or combustible material (which abounds on construction sites) being set ablaze. In a volatile environment burn injuries are very common.
Overexertion: Workers maintaining extremely long hours on worksites in hot, humid conditions doing heavy physical labor can and easily lead to overexertion, exhaustion and heat stroke.
When work on a construction site leads to injury, workers typically believe a workman's compensation insurance claim is the only recourse they have to recoup costs for medical care as a result of their injuries. The truth is they may be able to recover damages as a result of employer or third party neglect, defective products, and even recover damages for lost wages and pain and suffering.
It's important when you suffer an injury in a construction site that you seek immediate medical care and thereafter consult with an experienced personal injury attorney like those at Panio Law Offices. We understands Illinois personal injury law and are able to advise you of your rights, and file a claim on your behalf for damages beyond workers' compensation benefits.
If you have questions about a construction accident or injuries, call (312) 313-0305. We can help.