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?”
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.
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:
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.
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:
- 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.
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.