It’s no secret that jobs in construction come with a certain level of risk that is often higher than most industries. The CDC reports that 3.3 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses were reported in 2009 and more than 9% of those were reported by construction workers. Falls accounted for 22% of the injuries and illnesses that construction workers reported.
Construction injuries may stem from a variety of causes. Some of the most common causes include:
Falling Objects: From improperly secured tools to construction supplies or even other construction workers, falling objects are a very common hazard to look out for on construction sites. Hardhats are a must for limiting the impact of falling objects, however, injuries to the brain and spine still result.
Falls: Falls on construction sites may stem from scaffolding, cranes, ladders, and roofs.
Machinery and Equipment Accidents: Heavy equipment or machinery often populate construction sites and can present an added danger to workers. Failing equipment is frequently the cause of serious injury to construction workers when not properly maintained. If your injuries resulted from equipment failure, you may have a legal claim under the “product liability” legal theory. The law governs who is responsible for injuries resulting from dangerous and defective products.
Construction Vehicle Accidents: Because construction sites often house construction vehicles like forklifts, large trucks, and cranes, the risk of injury from these vehicles can be high. Often when a worker is injured by a large truck the accident can be tied to supervisor neglect in some way. Often the occurrence of a worker being injured in this way is the result of a worksite with lapse controls in place.
Explosions or Fires on Site: One of the many hazards of a typical construction site is an explosion or fire resulting from exposed wiring and/or flammable materials combusting. As you might expect, injuries resulting from these kinds of accidents can be among the most serious experiences on construction sites.
Structure Collapses: Often in the early stages of a structure’s construction, the risk of injury is high if safety procedures are not in place. Trenches or buildings may potentially collapse with workers inside should precautions not be observed assiduously. Likewise, during demolitions, unexpected collapses may occur in the process. Even when an accident’s cause cannot be directly determined, negligence may be the bases for a personal injury claim under the legal theory, “res ipsa loquitur.” Compensation can be awarded under this theory without proving which party is negligent or in what way that negligence manifested.
Repetitive Motions: Repetitive motion is a common cause of injury in a variety of workspaces. On construction sites, because of the nature of some of the work being done on construction sites, repetitive motions can yield injuries from carpel tunnel syndrome, joint damage, and muscle injury, among others.
Heat Stroke: Due to the nature of the work and the conditions under which construction is often done (with exposure to the elements), heat stress in hot conditions can cause injuries to the brain, heart, or kidneys. In cold conditions, workers are in danger of hypothermia or frostbite.
Other injuries can result from high lead levels on construction sites and exposure to noxious fumes.
Worker’s compensation can offer limited relief should injuries like these occur on a construction site. However, under the legal theory of negligence, workers may also find relief through product liability or personal injury claims.
If you have questions about filling a personal injury claim in the wake of a construction accident, please call the experienced construction accident attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago at 773.881.9000. The initial consultation is free and we don’t get paid unless we recover damages for you.