Construction is an important industry, and it employs more than 11 million workers in the United States. Although we need construction for growth and improvement, it can be considered one of the most dangerous jobs. Accidents can be more common in the construction industry than in many other professions. When a construction accident happens, it could result in serious or life-threatening injuries or fatalities. If you were hurt in a construction accident, the negligent party may be responsible for your damages, including your medical bills and more.
Types of Construction Accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division under the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA was established by Congress in 1970 to ensure safe working conditions, set and enforce working standards, and provide training and additional services. OSHA gathers data from reported construction accidents and has identified the “fatal four.” Falls are the most common cause of construction fatalities. Others include electrocutions, struck-by accidents, and caught-between incidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls accounted for just over a third of all construction accidents in 2019.
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What Causes Falls?
Falls may occur for various reasons. Falls are generally categorized into falls from an elevated level and falls on the same level. Falls from an elevated level may happen by falling off a ladder or roof, falling from scaffolding, falling from equipment, or falling downstairs, for example. Falls on the same level are often due to slipping because of uneven or slippery surfaces, tripping over objects, or getting hit with equipment, among others. All types of falls can result in serious injuries or death. Head trauma, back injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, contusions, and lacerations are all common injuries due to construction site falls.
Preventing Construction Falls
According to OSHA, there are three main steps to preventing falls. These are plan, provide, and train. When followed properly, these steps will successfully prevent falls in the workplace.
- Plan: Planning the construction site is essential to ensuring the health and safety of employees and others. Planning is one of the first tasks to complete before beginning the job. You must anticipate and plan for the various types of fall accidents that could occur at your particular site.
- Provide: Management must provide the proper safety gear and make sure that the equipment they use is in proper working condition. Specific equipment is critical to fall prevention. For example, railings are needed when working on high levels. Personal fall arrest systems (PFAs) must be provided and tested regularly. You must use the right equipment, such as ladders and scaffolding, and it must meet OSHA standards.
- Train: Employee and management training is another essential component in the prevention of falls. Employees need to understand how to properly use equipment and receive adequate training and re-training. Workers and managers must follow strict rules for working in crews and for taking breaks. Everyone needs to know what to do if an accident happens.
Construction accidents often result in extremely serious injuries. If you or a loved one was hurt in a construction accident, it may be due to the negligence of another. To discuss the details of your construction accident, call us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a free consultation.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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