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The 14 Most Common Accidents on Construction Sites

construction accident involving a man falling in a stair

Construction jobs rank among the most dangerous jobs in the United States because everyday tasks put workers in more high-risk situations. As a result of being exposed to high-risk situations, there are more accidents on construction sites than in virtually any other job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, because these jobs are more unstable, over one-quarter of construction workers have been injured on the job. Due to the dangerous nature of construction jobs, many accidents result in severe injury or even death.

It’s essential to know how these site accidents happen to prevent injury better. Awareness of these risks allows you to prepare a plan of action if a serious accident happens to you. Read on to learn more about the most common kinds of accidents on construction sites.

Have you or a loved one been injured on the job? You may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates today – we will work with you to attain the compensation you’re after so you can protect your rights and make a full recovery.

Common Construction Accidents

While some workplace injuries result due to no fault of anyone else, many times, your employer could have prevented the injury with proper training, education, safeguards, and other preventative measures. If a third party could have prevented your injury, you are significantly more likely to receive compensation.

If you received an injury due to a construction site accident, reach out to one of our attorneys immediately. We have been providing legal advice and assistance to those injured on construction sites for years, and we are ready to help you too.

1. Height-Related Accidents and Falls

Falling from ladders, scaffoldings, rooftops, or heavy machinery – primarily when stationed high above ground level – can often lead to serious injuries or even death, despite hard hats and other preventative measures.

Many people understand the risk of a worker falling but fail to consider other objects falling onto people, such as hammers, power tools, or pieces of scaffolding that have fallen out of place.

The “Scaffold Law,” otherwise known as New York Labor Law 240, protects workers working on construction sites from falls and falling objects. Primarily, this law enforces your employer to provide specific protective gear to workers.

Should the employer fail to supply adequate protection, they can be found at fault for wrongful death or injury should something happen to a worker on site.

2. Slip or Trip Related Falls

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these injuries are most common on construction sites. Debris, holes in flooring, unsafe or broken stairs, limited lighting, and grease, water, or oil on the ground can all lead to injuries, especially if not marked for employees. If you’ve slipped and fallen due to a slippery surface that your employer did not appropriately mark, you may be entitled to compensation.

These injuries can result in broken bones, sprained ankles, deep cuts, brain injuries, paralysis, or even death.

3. Crane and Hoist Accidents

Like falls, dealing with heavy machinery lends itself to injuries and mishaps not seen in the typical construction environment. Lack of training, operator errors, and other factors can lead to severe accidents on construction sites.

If your employer did not properly train you before your accident on a crane or hoist, chances are you can receive just compensation. These types of accidents may result in horrific injuries and even death, and many times they could have been prevented by the proper training and protocols.

4. Demolition Accidents

Demolition often involves using explosives which place workers in immediate danger. While construction workers can avoid some demolition accidents, some are unavoidable.

Regardless, employers must provide their construction site workers with safety equipment and adequate training to reduce hazard risks. While each situation differs, common demolition injuries can include burns, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, paralysis, and fatality.

5. Repetitive Stress Injuries

Doing repetitive manual labor can result in adverse health effects – even typists in non-construction jobs run the risk of developing arthritis and carpal tunnel. On-site, repetitive stress injuries manifest in the forms of back, wrist, ankle, and joint injuries.

6. Gas Leaks, Fires, and Explosions

man cutting a copper pipe

These situations often happen suddenly and unexpectedly, and they can be deadly. If your construction site deals with carbon monoxide, your employer should take extra care and mandate safety protocols, as the gas can be lethal in a confined construction space.

Other chemical and gas leaks, equipment malfunctions, and electrical issues can cause accidents. Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins can cause construction workers to suffer severe respiratory illnesses.

Fires and explosions may cause first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns, disfigurement, lung problems, smoke-inhalation illnesses, and death.

Often, liability will default to a materials manufacturer, sub-contractor, or other responsible party whose negligence led to malfunction or a similar disaster.

7. Forklift Accidents

To operate machinery like a forklift, employees must have undergone proper training. Additionally, whenever operating a forklift, the operator must be alert and attentive to prevent injury to bystanders. While commonplace to many construction sites, forklifts are dangerous and contribute to severe accidents.

8. Electrocution Accidents

Electrical equipment, overhead power lines, wiring, and lighting create electrocution risks for workers. If you work in an environment like this, your employer should have provided you with the proper training and safety equipment – grounding gloves, goggles, etc.

Even if your tasks do not involve dealing with electricity directly, many construction sites have exposed wires, unfinished electrical systems, and downed power lines. This can lead to injury even to bystanders.

9. Trench or Ground Collapses

On many building sites, trenches and other excavations may be necessary. However, this can render the ground and surrounding areas unstable, possibly collapsing on workers in the area.

Your employer must always mark trenches and other excavations thoroughly to prevent accidental injury. If an improperly marked collapsed trench caused your injury, reach out to our attorneys immediately.

10. Motor Vehicle Accidents

If your construction site exists on a highway or similar motorway, getting hit by speeding or distracted drivers is a real risk. Your employer should appropriately mark these sites with signs indicating to traffic that work is in progress and that drivers should turn their headlights on.

11. Overexertion

Working long hours and facing the elements head-on can lead to overexertion, especially in summer when the heat and humidity peak. When working in extreme conditions, hydrate frequently to combat dehydration, fainting, and even strokes.

12. Machinery Accidents

a man hurt due to a construction accident involving a machine

Forklifts, cranes, and hoists pose serious risks, but other commonly used construction machines do too. Even when operating as intended, jackhammers, bulldozers, and even smaller power tools like nail guns and drills can pose severe dangers to one’s health.

Always approach construction machinery with the utmost care and alertness to avoid accidents. Regardless, these machines pose risks even to the most diligent workers. If you suffered an injury due to a machinery malfunction, contact our attorneys to see if you can build a case.

13. Elevator Shaft Accidents

Construction workers working on elevator shafts risk falling through the shaft. To prevent this, your employer must mark the site appropriately to prevent workers from falling in accidentally. Likewise, all employees must follow safety precautions.

14. Caught-Between Accidents

Sometimes, a limb or entire person may get snagged by equipment or crushed by falling debris on a site. These injuries can change a person’s life – or be fatal altogether. Because of the serious and life-altering consequences of these accidents, victims tend to be able to make a case for a lot more than an accident resulting in less physical harm.

The Path to Compensation

One of the biggest mistakes construction workers make is delaying getting help after an injury. Contacting a construction accident attorney as soon as possible can help you attain peace of mind, ensuring your rights are protected and that you make a full and fair recovery. Additionally, strict statutes of limitation begin running the moment injury occurs, and waiting too long to act might prevent you from compensation altogether.

If a third-party’s negligence caused the injury, the victim can seek compensation for their hospital bills, wages lost, pain, loss of consortium, emotional duress, and punitive damages. If you’ve lost a loved one to a construction site accident, you too may be able to make a case for wrongful death.

The Law Office of Sadaka Associates – Your Go-To Workplace Accident Law Firm

Regardless of the workplace accident you’ve suffered, you need a top-tier law firm at your side for the best chance at receiving compensation. At Sadaka Associates, we have years of experience helping New York and New Jersey employees navigate their workplace injuries.

Accidents on construction sites can have lasting impacts on workers beyond physical injuries. Give us a call today at (800) 810-3457  to speak with one of our attorneys and learn more about your rights and start the process. We will do everything we can to bring you or your loved one total compensation for the injury, time off work, and mental hardships endured.



Principal & Founder
This article was written by Mark Sadaka, a seasoned trial lawyer in nationally significant cases. He fearlessly champions clients impacted by fatal or severe injuries caused by others or corporations. Renowned for his expertise in complex litigation, he's featured in books, sought after by media for interviews, and a highly sought speaker. Notably, he exclusively represents individuals facing life-changing injuries or substantial financial losses.

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