Professional Focus: Common Construction Worker Injuries
Occupational injuries and illnesses in construction are common, making it one of the more dangerous jobs in America today. In 2019, over 200,000 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were recorded and of all fatal occupational injuries reported in the U.S., 20% were in construction, accounting for one in five worker deaths. These accidents are so common a dashboard has been created to keep track of them.
While construction work can be risky, there are many precautions one can take to lower their risk. In this article, we give an overview of the construction industry and include prevention tips. If you happen to be a construction worker that is injured on the job, we at Shultz Legal are here for you.
Construction Industry Facts
- In 2019, 11.4 million U.S. workers were employed in construction.
- According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women now make up 9.9% of the construction industry in the U.S.
- In Maryland, as of January 2021, the construction industry employs approximately 158,200 workers
Common Types of Injuries and Illnesses
The most common type of injury reported in the construction industry is related to falls. In addition, there are other common injuries including:
- Amputation of a finger, toe, or limb
- Pulls, strains, and sprains
- Respiratory problems
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Toxic exposure
Top Four Construction Hazards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the United States Department of Labor, works to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards. They have identified the four most common fatal accidents in the construction industry, also known as the Fatal Four:
- Falls. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction (about 33%). They include falls from scaffolding, roofs, ladders, cranes, and other related means.
- Struck by an object. About 9.4% of construction fatalities happen because of being struck by an object. Swinging objects, flying objects, or even moving objects like cars can be included in this category.
- Electrocution. 8.3% of construction hazards include electrocution or the injury of someone by electric shock. Some examples of hazards include wet conditions around electrical equipment or contact with power lines.
- Caught-in/between. About 2.5% of all construction fatalities happen in this category. Getting, crushed, squeezed, compressed, or pinched between two or more objects, such as something falling or moving machinery.
- Provide and/or attend safety training.
- Always utilize protective clothing and gear.
- Keep workspaces clean and free from potential hazards.
- Report any dangerous working conditions.
- Always do your best to stay educated to protect yourself and others.
- Falls: wear and use personal fall equipment (for example, harnesses), use ladders and scaffolds safely, use guardrails or lifelines, inspect all equipment before use, and guard or cover any holes or openings on the job site.
- Struck by an object: wear high-visibility clothes near machinery.
- Electrocution: locate and identify utilities before starting work, maintain a safe distance from powerlines, be alert to electrical hazards.
- Caught in or caught between: Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place. Use protective measures such as machine guards.
How We Can Help
Choosing to work with a five-star rated workers compensation law firm like Shultz Legal can help ensure your or a loved one's case gets the proper attention it deserves. Start by either calling our office or requesting a consultation using our online form.