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What Should I Do if I Get Hurt on a Construction Site?

What Should I Do if I Get Hurt on a Construction Site?

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What Should I Do if I Get Hurt on a Construction Site?

Right now, construction is a booming industry. But it’s also one of the most dangerous fields in the United States. In fact, construction represents about 20% of all workplace fatalities in the private sector. However, the vast majority of the injuries and deaths of construction workers are preventable.

If you are injured on the job, you may wonder about your legal options. Are you responsible for the resulting medical bills and financial stress? 

If you’ve been injured at a construction site, don’t delay. Reach out to the skilled legal professionals at Morgan & Morgan.

When you’re wondering, “How do I know what to do if I get hurt on construction sites?”—our knowledgeable attorneys can help. Fill out the contact form on our website today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Why Is Construction So Dangerous?

It’s no secret that construction can be dangerous. But why, exactly, is that the case? As technologies and procedures continue to improve, shouldn’t the number of construction site injuries go down?

Unfortunately, human error is and always will be a huge factor in the large number of injuries that happen annually in this industry. Construction also creates a dangerous environment where even a seemingly small mistake can lead to disastrous consequences. 

Below, we’ve outlined some of those dangerous conditions that lead to a high number of annual injuries and might have you searching “What to do if I get hurt on construction sites?”

Harmful Dust

Hazardous dust is especially dangerous because you can’t always see the harmful material with your naked eye. So if you aren’t properly trained or prepared, you may not know that an area is dangerous until it’s too late. 

When you think of harmful dust, asbestos is usually the first material that comes to mind. But the truth is, all dust can be harmful to a person’s health. Whether it’s dirt, pollen, wood, or industrial exhaust, high quantities can be damaging. 

Construction workers are especially vulnerable to harmful dust because they are constantly cutting materials, emptying bags, and doing other kinds of cleaning and maintenance work. Over time, exposure to dust can lead to respiratory problems, skin conditions, eye damage, and even gastrointestinal irritation.

Heavy Equipment

Big jobs require big tools. And while heavy equipment gets the work done, it’s also extremely dangerous to be around. Some of the most common heavy equipment found on constructions sites include:

  • Cranes
  • Excavators
  • Loaders
  • Earthmovers
  • Bulldozers

The best way to protect yourself from heavy equipment is to become familiar with the risks and the proper procedures. It’s possible to fall from machinery, get struck by moving equipment, or get hit by debris as the equipment performs a job. 

Loud Noises

The average layperson may not know this about construction, but it’s possible to become injured because of the loud noises on a site. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done to limit the amount of noise made by heavy equipment. 

However, there are things you can do to protect yourself from hearing damage.

Some of the equipment most likely to cause hearing damage include:

  • Jackhammers
  • Hammer drills
  • Chain saws
  • Chop saws

It’s not uncommon for a young carpenter to have the hearing capabilities of a much older person. If you are routinely exposed to loud noises, your employer should provide annual hearing exams to determine whether more help is necessary to fully protect your hearing.

You may need to wear protective devices for your ears. If this is the case, your employer should provide you with foam plugs or even custom-molded plugs to limit the damage to your hearing. 

Extreme Heights

The biggest danger on a construction site is the extreme heights at which contractors work. While there are fall-protection devices designed to keep workers safe, this remains the most frequently cited OSHA violation.

Unfortunately, injuries caused by falling from extreme heights have the potential to be very severe. If a person falls from a height of 30 feet or more, the chances of survival are very low. 

If you work from such heights, your employer should have a good safety plan in place. But fall prevention comes down to every individual on a job site. It’s not just a personal or a corporate issue—it’s a matter of a commitment to safety at all levels.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What Are the Most Common Construction-Related Accidents and Injuries?

    Because of human error, negligence, and the dangerous conditions of the average construction site, injuries do happen. Most often, an injured construction worker will suffer from one or more of the following:

    Electrocution

    Whether it’s from faulty wiring, improper electrical procedures, or poor design, electrocution can cause devastating injuries and even death. Electrocution can cause burns, internal damage, cardiac arrest, and other side effects. Unfortunately, even a small amount of electricity can be extremely harmful to your health. 

    Head Injuries

    Head injuries on a construction site can happen because of falling, equipment malfunctions, falling debris, and more. At its mildest, a head injury can present as a concussion. At its most severe, it can result in a traumatic brain injury with lasting effects. 

    Burns

    If a fire or explosion happens on a construction site, it’s possible for workers to suffer devastating burns from the experience. However, most construction burns are caused by extremely hot water, steam, pipes, and machinery. 

    In any case, a severe burn can leave a person with hefty medical bills, permanent scarring, and emotional trauma. 

    Spinal Cord Injuries

    A spinal cord injury can happen any time a person’s legs, back, shoulders, or neck are injured. Whether it’s due to a fall, getting struck by equipment, or getting caught between objects, spinal cord injuries can have lifelong consequences. And that, in turn, can lead to lifelong medical expenses. 

    Limb Loss

    Limb loss is not uncommon when it comes to construction site injuries. It can happen in any of the following scenarios:

    • Vehicle accidents
    • Crushed-between-objects accidents
    • Electrocution accidents
    • Machinery accidents
    • Explosions

    When a person loses a limb, they must spend an extended amount of time in the hospital. Afterward, extensive therapy is often required to learn how to adapt to the missing limb. As a result, any person with this kind of injury may be faced with hefty medical expenses. 

  • How Are Contractors Responsible for the Safety of Their Job Sites?

    Every entity that has control over a construction site is responsible for the safety of all persons who enter the site. So the owner, the general contractor, and even the subcontractors may be liable for an injury that occurs on the premises. Each of these groups must provide safety equipment and create safe conditions and practices. 

    If you are injured while working on a construction site, you could be eligible for more than just workers’ compensation. If you can prove that the owner, general contractor, or subcontractor failed to create safe conditions, you can pursue a lawsuit to hold that group liable for their negligence, as well. 

    If you feel that you are entitled to more than just a workers’ compensation claim, call Morgan & Morgan. We can help you evaluate the situation and determine your next best steps for legal action. 

  • What to Do if I Get Hurt on a Construction Site: A Guide

    After a construction site injury, you may feel confused about your rights and what the next best steps should be. Morgan & Morgan has helped countless clients in your position, and we know what your legal rights and options are. 

    Generally speaking, we recommend that you take these steps after an injury at a construction site:

    Report the Accident

    Report the accident to ensure that it is documented and that the unsafe condition is resolved. 

    Seek Medical Care for Your Injury 

    If necessary, have a coworker call 911. Not only will this ensure that you get the treatment you need, but it will also provide further documentation to support your claim.

    Gather Information

    Note the names and numbers of any witnesses to the incident. If possible, try to take photos of the unsafe conditions, as well. This will help you file a comprehensive report in your application for workers’ compensation.

    Talk With a Legal Professional

    Call an attorney if you feel you deserve more compensation or if your employer is failing to treat the situation in a competent and respectful way. An attorney can help you understand the best steps to take.

    Unfortunately, construction accident lawsuits can quickly become complicated and drawn out. Your best bet is to call Morgan & Morgan as soon as possible. We’ll help you to know when you’re wondering, “How do I know what to do if I get hurt on construction sites?” 

  • What Is OSHA?

    OSHA is responsible for setting and enforcing the standards for workplace health and safety. The acronym stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If an employer violates the standards enacted by OSHA, they may face fines and penalties. 

  • What Are the Most Common OSHA Violations in Construction?

    The most common violations to the standards set by OSHA in construction include a lack of proper:

    • Fall protection
    • Respiratory protection
    • Scaffolding
    • Hazard communication
    • Ladders

    If you were injured because of one of these violations or another, your employer could face hefty fines and/or penalties. You could also be entitled to additional compensation.

  • How Much Compensation Could I Be Entitled To?

    If you are entitled to workers’ compensation, you can expect to receive coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. But you won’t be able to make a claim for pain and suffering. 

    If you believe that you deserve more compensation because your employer was grossly negligent or if your claim was denied, call Morgan & Morgan. We can walk you through your legal options.

  • How Much Will I Have to Pay an Attorney Upfront?

    At Morgan & Morgan, our pricing is based on a contingency structure. This means that you don’t pay any money upfront for our services. Instead, you pay an agreed-upon percentage after we win or settle your case. We won’t get paid until and unless you do!

  • Turn to Morgan & Morgan When You Need a Personal Injury Attorney

    It’s time to discover more about what to do if I get hurt on construction sites. At Morgan & Morgan, we have a team of more than 700 trial-ready attorneys ready to fight for your rights.

    With billions of dollars in compensation recovered for our clients, we’re ready to give you the support you deserve. 

    Fill out our easy-to-use contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today.

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