What is the Most Common Accident in Construction?
It is not surprising that falls are the most common accidents in construction. After all, much of the work revolves around ascending heights, whether via scaffolding or ladders. Falls from heights are not the only type of construction falls. Construction workers are also prone to slip and fall accidents.
The Los Angeles construction accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law can help determine whether workers’ compensation insurance will handle your construction site accident claims or whether a third-party may prove liable.
Falls from heights
Construction work involves scaling heights, whether on a roof, scaffolding, or high ladder. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,102 construction workers lost their lives while on the job in 2019. Of these deaths, roughly one-third were attributable to workplace falls. Overall, construction accident deaths accounted for 20 percent of all on-the-job fatalities, as per OSHA.
Slip and falls
Hazards abound on a construction site. Slip and falls or trip and falls may occur because of dropped tools or other items, uneven ground, wet areas, and poor lighting. Many sites are badly lit and workers slip and fall due to bad visibility.
When tools, materials, or debris fall from a height and hit someone, it is not a fall per se but the impact can cause serious injury or death.
Workers on scaffolding may find themselves hit by a falling object which then causes them to lose their balance and slip off the scaffold.
Many construction site falls are preventable if the company provides workers with the proper equipment and gives them fall prevention training. That includes the use of personal protective equipment such as:
- Safety harnesses
- Hand and stair rails
All elevated floors and platforms should guardrails and toe boards installed. When a floor or platform is open-sided, an employee moving just slightly backward or sideways can easily fall off. Workers should always wear suitable footwear on the construction site, which can prevent some slip and falls.
Workers can protect themselves from falling objects by wearing hard hats and safety goggles and face shields.
Ladders are a major cause of fall accidents. Not only should ladders receive a daily inspection for safety, but workers must learn to choose the right ladder for their jobs. Managers should ensure workers receive instruction on the proper set-up of ladders. For instance, they must know not to place a ladder on a surface that may shift or prove unstable.
It is critical to inspect scaffolding regularly. Many falls from heights happen when scaffolding gives way. That is usually due to improper construction. Negligence also plays a role in scaffolding accidents.
Falls from heights are more likely to prove fatal than slip and falls unless the latter involves a severe head injury. Those who survive a fall from a height may suffer:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Common slip and fall or trip and fall injuries may involve:
- Back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Certain injuries can keep a worker off the job for weeks or months, and involved considerable rehabilitation. Other injuries can mean the inability to hold employment in the future along with permanent disability. The most severely injured workers may no longer live independently and require constant care. The lives of their loved ones are also deeply affected by such life-changing injuries.
Contact a Los Angeles construction accident lawyer
If you were injured in a fall or any sort of construction accident due to third-party negligence, contact the dedicated LA construction attorneys at Ellis Injury Law. We offer free consultations. Call or text us 24/7 to schedule an appointment, or submit our online form.
While most personal injury lawsuits are settled, we will take your case to trial if the insurance company or defendant refuses to agree to a fair settlement. Our experienced lawyers have recovered over $350 million in verdicts and settlements. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.