The Most Common Types of Construction Site Accidents
Construction sites rank among the most hazardous workplaces. A total of 169,200 recorded workplace injuries and 1,008 worker deaths occurred in the construction industry in 2021, as reported by Procore. Construction accounts for 21% of all deaths among U.S. workers. It is important to understand the most common causes of construction accidents and injuries.
Falls from Heights
Construction often requires work at elevations, on scaffolding, or on ladders. Falls from heights are a leading cause of injury and death among workers in the construction industry. In 2020, falls, slips, and trips accounted for 35.3% of workplace deaths within construction and extraction, as stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Construction workers suffered 21,400 nonfatal on-the-job injuries and 96 deaths from falls, slips, and trips.
Being struck by objects is a leading cause of construction industry deaths. Approximately 75% of these fatalities involve heavy equipment, such as cranes or trucks, according to OSHA. The most common struck-by accident hazards are:
- Vehicles: If proper safety practices are not followed, workers on construction sites risk being pinned between vehicles and walls, crushed beneath overturned vehicles, or struck by swinging backhoes, trucks, or cars. Among other safety precautions, workers should ensure all personnel are in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices, set parking brakes and chock wheels when vehicles are on an incline, and lower or block bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, etc., when not in use, leaving all controls in neutral position.
- Falling or flying objects: Workers beneath cranes, scaffolds, or anywhere overhead work is being performed are at risk from falling objects. Flying objects are a potential danger when power tools or activities such as pulling, pushing, or prying cause objects to become airborne. To protect against hazards, workers should wear hard hats, use toe boards and debris nets, stack materials to prevent falling, and wear safety goggles or face shields where machines may cause flying particles.
- Masonry wall construction: This activity can be particularly dangerous because of the tremendous loads. The risk of injury is high when jacks or lifting equipment is used to position slabs and walls and when shoring is required. Precautions should be taken to ensure concrete structures can support construction loads, to adequately shore or brace structures, and to prevent unrolled wire mesh from recoiling.
Between 2011 and 2021, a total of 1,201 workplace fatalities involving electricity were reported by OSHA, and 1,653 electrical fatalities were reported by BLS, as stated by the Electrical Safety Foundation. The following are the most frequent causes of electrical injuries on construction sites, as reported by OSHA:
- Contact with power lines
- Lack of ground-fault protection
- Path to ground missing or discontinuous
- Equipment not used properly
- Improper use of flexible and extension cords
Machinery and Equipment Accidents
Many construction site accidents are associated with heavy equipment such as bulldozers, cranes, front-end loaders, excavators, and dump trucks. Around heavy equipment and machinery, construction workers risk being struck by objects, pinned or crushed between two objects, or crushed under equipment that rolls over. Equipment accidents can be caused by mechanical malfunction, collisions, rollovers, or collapses when a machine buckles under its load.
Were You Injured in a Long Beach Construction Site Accident?
Workers can be hurt when construction site safety measures are not followed. If you have been seriously injured in a construction accident in Long Beach, contact The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV. We are dedicated to upholding the rights of the people we represent.
Trial lawyer Joseph Low has been rated 10.0 Superb by Avvo, awarded membership into the prestigious Consumer Attorneys of California, and received the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Medallion for excellence in trial advocacy.
Call a skilled Long Beach construction accident attorney at (562) 901-0840 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.