Construction workers have one of the highest rates of job injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that in 2018, the most recent year with statistics, one out of every five on-the-job injuries were suffered by construction workers.
The injuries sustained in the construction industry are often severe. Five of the most common types of injuries construction workers suffer include:
- Lost limbs or digits: a common type of construction site accident is getting caught in-between or in machinery. Heavy objects can fall and trap, mangle, sever, or crush a finger, arm, foot, or leg. One of the best ways to avoid this peril is to always remain alert to surroundings and never step in between a piece of heavy equipment and an immovable object, like a wall.
- Head injuries: being struck in the head by a rotating piece of equipment or an object falling from above can result in traumatic brain injuries and damage. Always wear a helmet at a construction site, including headwear and eyewear, and be aware of swinging or moving objects and when navigating a construction site.
- Electrocution: power tools and equipment put workers at higher risk of getting severe electrical shocks or burns. It’s important when working with electrically powered tools or near onsite electrical circuits to avoid placing fingers and body parts near exposed wiring, use proper procedures and handling techniques, and to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Respiratory system damage: repeat exposure to chemicals, dust, and other products or substrates can permanently damage the lungs, heart, and other organs, or can result in diseases like pneumoconiosis, a term for a family of illnesses affecting the lungs due to on-the-job exposure to hazardous materials. It’s critical to wear the right type of protective masks and to avoid working in poorly ventilated areas.
- Falls: construction workers must frequently work at high elevations, putting them at risk of falls. Using supportive gear and suspension equipment, plus exercising extreme caution and wearing a helmet, are ways to reduce the risk of a fall. Employers should provide employee training in avoiding and handling fall.
If you’ve been hurt on a construction site, you may be eligible for personal injury claims. A personal injury lawyer can help you.