Jobs in the construction industry are some of the most dangerous occupations in the country. In 2015, 21.4 percent of private industry worker fatalities were in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Throughout our years of experience representing injured workers throughout Nevada, our Las Vegas construction accident attorneys have seen a variety of construction accidents that have caused serious injury and death, including those listed below.
We will help you identify the party liable for your construction site accident and fight for the compensation you deserve for your injury.
Construction Fatal Four
OSHA has identified four types of construction accidents that are most deadly to workers. These “fatal four” made up 64.2 percent of workplace deaths in the construction industry in 2015. These four types of accidents alone kill 602 construction workers each year in the U.S.
In 2015, falls killed 364 construction workers, amounting to 38.8 percent of all construction industry deaths.
Construction site falls are often caused by unsecured scaffolding or ladders. Using scaffolding or lifts that do not have protected sides and the improper use of portable ladders put workers at risk.
A construction site fall has the potential to be deadly. It can also cause serious injuries such as:
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
OSHA requires construction sites have safety plans that incorporate provisions designed to protect construction workers against worksite falls.
Struck by Object
Ninety construction workers were killed in 2015 after being struck by falling objects, which accounted for approximately 9.6 percent of all fatalities in the construction industry that year.
Objects falling from heights onto workers below are a common cause of these death and injury, as are strikes by heavy equipment such as cranes and trucks.
Workers are often unaware of the danger they are in and have little to no warning when they are about to be struck by a falling object. This lack of awareness prevents them from moving out of harm’s way and getting to a safe location.
Aside from being fatal, falling objects on a construction site can cause serious injuries, such as:
- Crush injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Electrocution caused the death of 81 construction workers in 2015, attributing to 8.6 percent of total fatalities during that year.
Electricity is used for a variety of reasons on construction sites, such as providing lighting and powering tools and heavy equipment. Any construction worker performing duties near power circuits should be equipped with appropriate protection to prevent electrocution.
Electrical hazards that exist on construction sites may include:
- Coming into contact with a power line
- Improper use of equipment
- Improper use of extension cords
Caught In or Between Heavy Machinery
Sixty-seven workers were killed after they were caught in or between machinery in 2015, accounting for 7.2 percent of all construction-related deaths.
These types of deaths are categorized by two causes:
- Caught in or compressed by objects or construction equipment
- Struck by a collapsing structure, equipment or material
This type of death can occur when a worker attempts to move a heavy object or machinery, which can be a difficult task. If the worker is not careful, he or she can become stuck or pinned in between an item and eventually crushed.
Workers caught in-between items often suffer crush injuries, amputations, or are killed.
Additional Construction Site Accidents
Although the fatal four are the most common and deadly types of accidents that occur on construction sites, workers also have to be aware of several other types of hazards:
Accidents involving vehicles are a common threat on construction sites located on or near busy roadways.
To prevent being struck by a vehicle, construction workers should consistently check for motorists engaging in reckless or distracting behavior when driving.
Many construction-related jobs also require the use of company-owned vehicles to perform daily tasks. This also increases the likelihood that a construction employee will be involved in a serious or fatal collision.
Construction workers regularly use various types of power tools and heavy equipment to complete their daily tasks.
Employers who provide such tools for workers are responsible for ensuring this equipment is maintained properly to ensure the safety of their employees.
If a tool is defective, or has not been adequately repaired or maintained, it could cause a serious accident that may injure or kill the worker using it.
Vibrating & Excessive Noise Hazards
Construction workers are also exposed to loud and violent noises through the various types of equipment and machinery they use.
This constant bombardment of loud noise may cause internal injuries, like hearing loss and tinnitus. To prevent this from happening, employers are required to reduce noise levels and workers’ exposure to excessively loud noise.
Employers are required to provide their workers with protective hearing equipment, like earplugs, to muffle the constant sounds they are exposed to.
Workers can also be harmed from the constant vibrations they experience through the use of power tools and heavy machinery. Consistent exposure to heavy vibrations can result in severe damage to your body, such as:
- Nerve damage to hands, wrists and arms
- Tendon damage to hands, wrists and arms
- Loss of grip strength
Slip and Fall
Construction sites are often covered with exposed hazards that make workers regularly susceptible to slip and fall injuries. This can include:
- Uneven surfaces
- Unmarked holes
To prevent slip and fall accidents, construction sites should be clear of any loose equipment laying on the ground. Employers and workers should also clearly label and section off any potentially dangerous hazards that could cause someone to slip or trip and fall.
Contact a Las Vegas Construction Accident Attorney Today
Henness & Haight’s Las Vegas construction accident attorneys will fight to recover the compensation you deserve for your workplace injury.
We work only on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay for our help unless we are able to recover compensation for you.
Our legal team is available to review your case, free of charge. There is no obligation for a free consultation.