You don’t need to work in the business to know that working on a construction site is one of the most dangerous professions in the U.S. Specifically, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths are in construction, and the leading causes of worker deaths are due to falls, getting struck by an object, and electrocution. This has led experts in the business to point out some things to watch out for while working a construction site—specifically:
Trips and Falls
Trips and falls usually occur due to uneven terrain, tripping, and work on ladders and scaffolding, sometimes without the proper safety equipment.
Machinery & Vehicle Accidents
Workers are susceptible to being hit by moving vehicles or machinery.
Falling objects frequently come from workers located on scaffolds higher above the site.
Burns are the most common shock-related injury, typically from electricity or an arc flash, whereby electrical energy is suddenly released through the air due to a high-voltage gap and breakdown between conductors.
Working outdoors for extended periods of time can lead to exhaustion, which increases the chances of making a mistake and getting injured.
There are several ways to avoid accidents at the site, such as:
- Holding safety meetings: to make sure all workers are on the same page and know where moving machinery will be on the site that day;
- Not skimping on safety gear: OSHA mandates certain provisions such as foot, head, hearing, eye, facial, and respiratory protection, as well as fall protection, safety belts, lifelines, lanyards, and safety nets, amongst other requirements (depending upon the particular site);
- Providing training: so that workers know how to use the safety equipment properly;
- Providing reflective clothing: this includes high-visibility apparel such as reflective vests to reduce the chances of getting hit; and
- Providing regular breaks: to reduce the chances of accidents due to exhaustion.
Top Standards Violated
In 2014, violations occurred related to:
- fall protection;
- hazard communication;
- scaffolding general requirements;
- failing to provide respiratory protection;
- powered industrial trucks;
- control of hazardous energy;
- electrical wiring methods;
- machinery; and
- electrical systems design.
Solnick & Associates
If you work on a construction site and have been injured, or know of someone who was killed, you or the victim’s family may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim (or a wrongful death claim, depending upon the company and insurance for the site). Although workers sometimes face challenges in filing workers’ compensation claim, particularly if the company argues that an “employment relationship” did not exist between the company and the injured worker, an experienced attorney can help.
The Pennsylvania construction accident attorneys at Solnick & Associates regularly represent victims of construction site accidents across Pennsylvania. Our attorneys are here to help you ensure that you get the compensation you deserve—contact our office today.