Less Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents & Injuries
It’s no secret that working in construction is very tough. Even under the best circumstances, the work can be very physically demanding, but things get even more difficult when you factor in all the different ways accidents can potentially occur on the job. In 2017, 259 construction workers were killed on the job and 21,760 suffered from non-fatal injuries while at work.
Some types of construction site accidents are more common than others. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has their list of the “fatal four,” which are the four most common types of fatal construction site accidents. Falls are consistently at the top of that list, accounting for 39.2% of all job-related construction worker deaths in 2017. But what are some of the other types of accidents that can happen on construction sites?
Electrocutions are another part of OSHA’s fatal four list, but they rank near the bottom of the list. In 2017, electrocutions were responsible for 7.3% of all fatal construction site accidents. Electrocutions can happen in many other types of industries, but they tend to be disproportionately common in the construction industry. According to the CDC, 61% of all workplace electrocution accidents in the United States occurred in the construction industry in 2015.
Between 2011 and 2015, electricians had the highest rate of death by electrocution in the construction industry. One of the most common ways construction site electrocutions occur is by coming into contact, either directly or indirectly, with electricity. While electricians are the most likely to come into contact with electricity, they’re not the only ones who face that risk. Roofers and other workers who have to work at a height can also be electrocuted if they accidentally come into contact with overhead power lines.
According to the National Safety Council, overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and in 2014, 19,070 overexertion injuries occurred in the construction industry. Working in construction can involve a lot of things like lifting or pushing heavy items and making repetitive movements, which can lead to overexertion. Just because overexertion can easily happen on construction sites, that doesn’t mean it has to happen. Overexertion can be prevented by employers doing things like teaching people techniques to prevent injury and providing tools to help lift heavy items.
Exposure to Dangerous Substances
Not only are construction sites full of heavy machinery and powerful tools, they can also be full substances that can be very dangerous if precautions aren’t taken. Things like solvents, paints, gasoline, industrial-grade cleaners, and tar are all commonly found on construction sites. In some cases, construction workers might come into contact with materials like asbestos or lead if they’re doing work on an older building.
Temperature-Related Illnesses & Injuries
Since lots of construction jobs involve working outside, construction workers also face the risk of illnesses and injuries caused by extreme heat or cold temperatures. Construction work tends to be at its peak during the summer months, which means workers can potentially develop conditions like heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and rhabdomyolysis. If a construction worker has to work outside during the winter, they could develop cold stress or frostbite. Because of this, it’s very important for employers whose employees work outside to make sure people are being protected from the elements.
The sad reality of so many construction site accidents is that so many of them could have been prevented. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident, it’s very important to get the help of a construction site injury lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you get the compensation you need. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to speak to a lawyer who has helped many workplace accident victims just like you. Contact us today to get started.