Warmer weather is upon us which means more construction in Central New York. Unfortunately, this increase also means a rise in construction accidents. A new report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) released in January of this year revealed that construction fatalities are on the rise. NYCOSH stated between 2006 and 2015, there were 464 construction worker deaths while on the jobsite. Falls remain to be the top cause of construction site accidents representing 49 percent of casualties in New York State. Shockingly, more than 2 in 3 or 68 percent of OSHA construction safety inspections find violations. Most are minor, however even small infractions can cause injuries.
Common hazards that cause jobsite accidents include:
Falls, usually from elevated heights - Losing your balance on ladders, trying to carry too many materials, or not being properly secured or harnessed may result in a fall.
Scaffold collapse - Unstable scaffolding is among one of the most frequent agency citations on a construction site.
Trench collapse - Trenching injuries may be a result for lack of a protective system for trenches a foot deep or greater.
Crane accidents - A machine operator who has inexperience with a crane, the crane collapsing, and contact with power lines are common causes for crane accidents.
Failure to use proper safety equipment or personal protective equipment (PPE) - Oftentimes the proper protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect a construction worker from injury or infection are not available for use.
Electric shock - Working with electricity on a jobsite can be dangerous and may result in shocks or fire if not carefully administered.
Repetitive motion injuries - A common injury for construction workers involves repetitive motion injuries. This comes from doing the same movement repeatedly and suffering an injury for the constant cyclic motion.
Construction workers may suffer a variety of injuries on the site from the various risks described herein. These include:
Most, if not all, of construction accidents can be prevented. Take a look at these tips on preventing construction accidents.
Be aware. A builder needs to be constantly alert of his or her surroundings and also aware of the risks including falling debris or materials, live electric wiring, and falls.
Get proper safety training. If it is available, and it should be, take all of the safety training classes offered and pay close attention when learning about new equipment. Always practice what you learn.
Keep a clean worksite. Keeping the jobsite neat and organized will help prevent chaos and hazards. Put your tools away and keep walkways clear.
Report unsafe conditions. Always report any dangerous working conditions to your manager or general contractor. Never let something go, it could mean saving a life.
Always wear safety equipment. No matter how silly that helmet looks, it is designed to save your life. Wear protective gear while working.
Keep your tools maintained. Never use outdated or expired equipment and keep your tools clean, in good repair and ready for use.
Follow OSHA guidelines. Make sure you follow the regulations placed by OSHA and your employer that are meant to keep you and your coworkers safe.
Immediately following a construction accident, you must seek medical attention for your injuries. Visit Urgent Care or a hospital’s emergency room depending on the severity of your injuries. Make sure you report the injury to your employer and keep a copy of the official report for yourself. If you are able, make sure the scene of the accident is cleared to prevent additional injuries among your coworkers. If your injury keeps you from work, make sure you file a claim immediately to receive workers’ compensation. If you run into issues with receiving worker’s compensation benefits, it is a good idea to seek a personal injury attorney to further assist you. This lawyer should have knowledge and be well versed in the area of construction accident law and know your rights as a worker.
If you or someone you know has suffered from an injury or death due to an accident on a construction site, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman are a team of experienced construction accident attorneys with the knowledge and passion to fight for you. Construction companies and owners of commercial property have a responsibility for your safety. Contact our office today for a consultation including free legal advice and a case evaluation about construction accidents. The People’s Lawyer is ready to stand up for you and your rights. Contact us today.
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