A total of 4.26 million workers in the United States were injured on the job and required medical attention in 2021, according to the National Safety Council. This does not account for fatal accidents, which the U.S. Department of Labor claims take the life of one worker every 101 minutes.
These statistics represent injuries across all industries, but the construction industry is especially prone to injury and fatal accidents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies those individuals who work in nontraditional settings, such as construction workers, as being at an elevated risk for accidents.
Hazards on the Job Site in New York
Some of the dangers routinely present at construction worksites that can lead to injury and death include the following:
Falls from Heights
Construction sites frequently feature tradespeople working in areas that are accessible only by ladders, scaffolding, and mechanical lifts. Fall arrest devices that are designed to prevent fatal falls from these heights are not always available or used regularly.
As a result, falling from a height represents a significant risk of injury or death on a construction site. This risk is elevated if the worker’s boots are wet, if the scaffolding is not assembled or secured properly, or if someone is simply not paying attention.
Struck by Vehicle or Equipment
If your construction site is located along a freeway or road, there is a risk that you could be struck by a passing motorist who is not paying attention. Although orange cones and warning signs are meant to alert drivers to your presence, motorists who are busy talking on their phones or who are speeding can miss these warnings.
New build construction sites are not much safer. Large, heavy equipment can be moving about frequently, and the visibility that operators of these vehicles have is often poor. If you are not careful or if there are not any spotters to act as eyes for these vehicles, you can be unintentionally struck and hurt or killed.
Electrocution and Toxic Substances
Depending on the nature of the construction project, there may be electrical wiring that is exposed or not properly grounded. If electricians or other workers with knowledge of these dangerous wires do not adequately warn others about them through signs or verbal notices, the results can be deadly.
Similarly, toxic or flammable substances like cleansers, stripping agents, or other chemicals should be labeled and stored correctly. Moreover, you and other workers should be informed about their presence, how to handle them safely, and what to do in the event of accidental exposure.
Reducing the Risk of a Construction Site Accident
Safety on the job site is every person’s responsibility, as is avoiding and preventing construction accidents.
You can do your part to protect yourself and help keep others safe by doing the following:
- Arrive at work well-rested and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Pay attention to safety briefings and ask questions if you are not clear
- Inspect all equipment prior to using it to spot defects or dangerous characteristics
- Wear safety gear at all times, including a helmet, eye protection, and safety vest
No worksite or office building will ever be completely free from all dangers and hazards. However, there is no reason why the hazards present on construction worksites should injure or kill so many workers per year.
Being aware of these hazards and how to protect yourself against them can help ensure the safety of you and your colleagues at work.
Contact Our Construction Accident Law Firm in Queens, NY
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