Common Construction Accidents
Houston Construction Accident Attorneys
Construction has proven to be one of the most dangerous fields to work in, as it is common for serious injuries to result from hazardous working conditions. On a construction site, there are safety practices and equipment malfunctions that could result in a worker's injury or endanger the lives of bystanders. Without proper safety measures to protect workers, negligence could cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
The agency responsible for holding employers accountable for safe working conditions is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. They inspect worksites and bring disciplinary action against employers and contractors who do not ensure the safety of their employees. Keep in mind, however, that OSHA does not represent injured workers—accident attorneys do.
The “Fatal Four” Construction Accidents
Through OSHA’s annual research, particularly the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the public has access to the most common construction accidents to cause fatalities. Every year, it is often the same 4 causes—thus compelling OSHA to often name them together as the “Fatal Four.”
The Fatal Four construction death causes are:
- Falls (39.9%)
- Electrocution (8.5%)
- Struck by Object (8.4%)
- Caught In-Between (1.4%)
As you can see, falls are among the most common causes of death in all of construction. What is tragic is that these hazards are preventable through proper safety. OSHA estimates that by eliminating the Fatal Four alone, more than 500 lives could be saved every year—not even mentioning the number of injuries that could be prevented. The overwhelming majority of deaths by falling occurred due to the failure of structure or equipment, most commonly scaffolding. Faulty scaffolding injures 4,500 workers a year—and kills 60 of them.
According to OSHA, roughly 1 in 5 worksite fatalities are in construction.
Construction Site Liabilities
While working onsite, sadly it is common for human error to be the cause of a serious and debilitating injury. Whether it is negligence on the part of a supervisor or the absent-minded mistakes of a co-worker, liability issues make this field of work one of the most dangerous.
- Improper site design or inspection
- Improperly stored materials
- Unmarked hazards—unprotected holes or roofing, unguarded trenches or platforms, etc.
- Using old or defective working materials—defective ladders, worn rope or cables, etc.
- Safety code violations
Unmarked hazards could result in falls to a lower level—either a trench, holes in the roofing, or uncovered manholes. These are classified by OSHA as “falls through existing holes or structures,” and it causes 82 deaths and thousands of injuries annually. Employers are responsible for clearly marking these hazards. Other times, a worker may sustain injury due to unsafe conditions. This could occur when the correct safety measures are not taken to protect workers against accidents—whether due to faulty equipment manufacturing or an unstable work environment.
Some hazardous working conditions may include:
- Explosions and/or fires
- Electric shock/burns
- Scaffolding accidents and/or scaffolding failures
- Roofing accidents/building collapses
- Toxic chemical exposure/inhalation injury
- Falling objects or debris
- Faulty machinery and/or equipment
Contact a Construction Accident Lawyer Today
Even in cases where workers blame themselves for their injuries, it is often the case that employers failed to meet federal safety standards. Employee mistakes should not have to cost them their livelihoods, limbs, or physical health—that is neither just nor legal.
If you or a loved one has suffered a debilitating injury because of a construction accident, it is likely that negligent behavior was the cause. If safety regulations are not being followed, grave consequences may be the result. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, our dedicated team of attorneys has handled countless personal injury claims and has recovered billions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We understand how an injury can restrict a worker's future physically and mentally. We work aggressively on every case to obtain the compensation that our clients deserve.
Speak with Arnold & Itkin today in a free, confidential consultation—we look forward to getting answers for you.