South Florida is always expanding, maintaining, and renovating buildings and roads to keep up with the state’s growing population and technological advances. As a result, construction workers are everywhere, working long and difficult hours to complete projects on deadlines. Unfortunately, construction workers are frequently involved in accidents that require emergency medical assistance.
Types of Construction Accidents
Road construction sites in particular result in severe injuries and fatalities due to the hazardous conditions of the road. According to the latest report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were more than 87,000 crashes in construction work zones and more than 37,000 injuries resulted from those accidents. In addition, the data found the majority of fatal accidents occur between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:59 p.m.
The accidents mentioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation in road construction work zones are listed below:
- Contact with objects or equipment
- Slips, trips, or falls
- Transportation incidents
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments
The types of hazards in construction sites listed by OSHA include:
- Trench collapse
- Scaffold collapse
- Electric shock and arc flash
- Failure to use personal protective equipment leading to injury
- Repetitive motion injuries
Some construction accidents result from OSHA violations by construction companies or contractors and/or from knowingly having construction workers use defective machinery and equipment including ladders, drilling machines, cranes, forklifts, and bulldozers, among others.
The Role of OSHA in Construction Site Safety
According to OSHA, the leading cause of death for construction workers is falls. In order to prevent falls in construction sites, OSHA requires employers to plan ahead of time by including safety equipment in their costs and giving construction workers the appropriate fall protection gear required for a project.
In addition, employers must provide the right equipment and machinery for the job. For example, there are several types of ladders designed to be used for specific tasks. The employer is responsible for knowing which tool is needed for any given task and supplying the appropriate tools to their workers. Further, employers are also responsible for making sure that each of their employees are trained on how to use the equipment. The training should include awareness of all the potential injury hazards and how to handle the equipment. Construction workers are required to wear safety gear specific to the construction job they are working on.
- Eye protection, such as safety glasses
- Face protection, such as face shields or masks
- Hand protection, such as gloves (they should fit snugly)
- Head protection, such as hard hats (which must be routinely inspected)
If you suspect that your workplace is violating OSHA standards or notice a serious hazard, bring it to the attention of your employer immediately. Construction workers can also file a complaint and have OSHA inspect their workplace. The complaint can be filed anonymously, and employers cannot fire or discriminate against the individual that submitted the complaint. Employers that fire, demote, or transfer the person who filed the complaint are in violation of the OSHA Act of 1970. If your employer violates the OSHA act, you may file a complaint within 30 days of the date of the discrimination.
Call to Discuss the Details of Your Case
When a third party is responsible for your injuries or accident, you may be entitled to file a claim. For construction workers, third parties might be the employer, contractor, architect, or manufacturer of equipment and/or machinery being used. Our firm handles complex construction accident cases, including accidents involving defective scaffolds, falls from heights, injuries from collapsing floors or walls, electricity, and ladder injuries.
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