It’s no secret that construction is one of the more dangerous industries to be employed in the United States. Even with the continuous industry changes and adapted safety protocols, workers are still at risk of injury, and even death. If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, our Philadelphia construction accident lawyers are prepared to help you seek justice and retain any compensation you may be eligible for to manage the financial burdens associated with your injury.
Approximately one in ten construction workers are injured every year. While many of these victims are able to recover and return to work, this is not always the case. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 21.1 percent of worker fatalities occurred in construction in 2016.
Many of these accidents and deaths are related to a disregard for proper safety procedures and protocols – which means they could have been prevented. At Shrager & Sachs, we have experience with a wide range of construction accident cases. We can help you prove why your accident could have been prevented, so you can focus on your recovery. In order to understand why you were injured, let’s take a look at some of the most common construction-related accidents.
What Are the Most Common Construction Accidents?
When a construction accident happens, you can generally trace the source back to an OSHA standards violation. According to OSHA, here are the top 10 most frequently cited violations in 2017:
- Inadequate fall protection
- Lack of hazard communication
- Improper use of scaffolding
- Improper respiratory protection
- Lack of control of hazardous energy
- Improper use of ladders
- Improper use of powered industrial trucks
- Inadequate machinery and machine guarding
- Inadequate fall protection training
- Hazardous electrical wiring methods, components, and equipment
As a result of the violations listed above, 63.7 percent of construction injuries and deaths are directly related to four types of accidents. OSHA calls these the “fatal four.” The four culprits are falls, electrocutions, stuck-by-object events, and caught-in/between object events. Of these accident types, falls account for the highest number of construction accident fatalities. The remaining three descend in the following order: struck-by-object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
What Injuries Are Associated with Construction Accidents?
Because of the hazardous conditions construction workers are exposed to, the types of injuries they sustain vary significantly. Some of the most common injuries associated with construction accidents are listed below:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Elevated blood lead concentration levels
- Eye injuries
- Heat stress that can lead to brain, heat, or kidney damage or failure
- Hypothermia or frostbite
- Loss of hearing
- Muscle or joint damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Respiratory diseases like pneumoconiosis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you’ve sustained one of the injuries above or have been diagnosed with a different condition after a construction accident, it’s in your best interests to consult our lawyers to protect your legal right to compensation.
Who Is Liable for Your Construction Accident in Pennsylvania?
Determining who is liable for your accident can be complicated because of the number of people involved in any one construction project. Our attorneys will investigate your case to determine who the negligent party is. Here are some individuals who may be held accountable, depending on the circumstances of your injury:
- Construction Site Owners. When the construction project is large, there is normally delegation for legal and work responsibilities. When determining if the construction site owner is at fault for your accident, your lawyer will weigh the extent of control the owner had over the premises.
- Design Professionals. If the drawn-up plans are defective in any way, the architects or engineers on the construction site may be to blame for your accident.
- General Contractors. The general contractor has a legal obligation to ensure the construction site is safe, and they have a duty to notify employees of possible hazards. They also have the responsibility of hiring competent employees who will follow the required health and safety regulations.
- Subcontractors. Subcontractors are also responsible for ensuring all OSHA regulations and laws are abided by on the job site.
Other negligent parties may include site managers, foremen, and manufactures or suppliers of machinery, equipment, and materials.
Preventing Construction Accidents
Preventing construction accidents starts with following the already established protocols and procedures. If construction site owners and contractors focused on creating, maintaining, and enforcing safety standards, they’d actually save money – and lives. Let’s take a look at the “fatal four” again and examine the best practices for preventing accidents.
- In order to protect against falls, it’s important to provide ample training, use harnesses, lines, nets, and railings, and to keep surfaces as clean and dry as possible.
- Electrocution protection starts with clear and specific training. It’s also important to remember to power down all tools when they’re not in use.
- In order to avoid being struck by an object, it’s important for site managers to ensure workers are never situated between moving objects. It’s also a good idea to wear high-visibility work gloves and clothing.
- Construction workers can avoid caught-in/between object accidents by understanding how to use clear language on the job site, maintaining awareness of moving objects, and transporting objects appropriately.
How Can You Benefit from Hiring a Construction Accident Lawyer in Philadelphia?
Even when taking the prevention tips above into consideration, construction can be a dangerous industry. If you’ve been injured on-the-job and are ready to find out about your rights and legal options, our construction accidents lawyers have answers. We can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of a construction accident, we can help you file a wrongful death claim. Contact us today for more information.