Construction site injuries are quite common. Behind farming, construction jobs cause more injuries than any profession.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 150,000 injuries occur at construction sites each year, claiming the lives of 109 workers in 2018. While regulations have made the industry safer than ever, 2018 saw a massive rise in job site fatalities. In New York City alone, there were over 73 occupational deaths in 2018. The trend has continued into 2019, almost doubling in number.
Why does this keep happening? Employers cutting corners on equipment and material, demanding longer hours and less rest from laborers, and lack of experience all play a part in workplace accidents at the construction site. Regardless, construction continues to be a bedrock of the New York economy, and workers will continue to get hurt despite everyone’s best efforts.
If you find yourself injured at work due to circumstances beyond your control and need someone to help defend your legal rights, call the Weinstein Group. Our construction accident lawyers in New York are dedicated to helping workers injured on the job get the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. Call 212-741-3800 or contact us online today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
OSHA’s “Fatal Four” Construction Site Accidents
Nearly one in five workplace accidents in New York happens on the construction site. Studies done by the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) show that most of them are caused by what they’ve called “The Fatal Four.” They are:
- Struck by object
- Caught in or between
Falls account for the most deaths by far. Of 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018, 33.5% were due to falls (338 total). This was more than the other three combined, with “struck by object” counting for 112 deaths and electrocutions for 85. The last category concerns workers caught in or between equipment, objects, or environmental hazards. Fifty-five were struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or material.
While a report by NYC Health showed construction injuries were the lowest they’ve been in 20 years, they still account for five more times the number of injuries in other professions. Even more troubling is that the vast majority of these fatalities and accidents were completely preventable.
For example, when falls occur, it’s often because of improper training or failure to comply with scaffolding regulations. The law requires employers to provide safe working conditions and workers have the right to refuse dangerous work. Workers worried about hazardous conditions may contact OSHA if they feel it is necessary to reduce the risk of harm or death to others.
Types of Common Injuries From Construction Accidents
Because of the nature of the work, injuries sustained from construction accidents can be extremely severe.
Along with “The Fatal Four,” workers are often hurt by spilled materials, poorly maintained equipment, and cuts, burns, and pulled muscles.
The most common construction site injuries that sideline workers include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull fracture
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Spinal fracture
The Stop Work Authority
OSHA regulations allow any worker to report an unsafe work environment or unfair conditions. It also protects them from retaliation by owners or management once they have filed a complaint.
To help facilitate worker safety, OSHA introduced the Stop Work Authority (SWA). It’s a six-step plan to encourage workers to be S.A.F.E.R. That is:
- Stop work
- Assess the situation
- File a report
- Eradicate the hazard
- Resume work
Whenever a worker sees an unsafe condition, hazard, or behavior on the job, they should stop work immediately. If danger is not imminent, they should report the hazard to their supervisor before going back to work. Otherwise, they should begin the SAFER sequence by making sure the area is as safe as they can make it, removing workers from immediate danger, and stabilizing the situation if possible.
After notifying a supervisor that SAFER has started, they should file a report with the company’s official OSHA forms. This action helps keep a record of hazards, as well as what steps were taken before resuming work.
Following the OSHA forms, the unsafe conditions or behaviors should be corrected and then inspected by a qualified professional. After all hazards have been resolved and recorded, work can resume. This allows workers to not only look after their safety, but it also helps supervisors avoid future problems or recognize ongoing concerns that might require more permanent solutions.
If You Get Hurt in a Construction Accident and Need Help, Give Us A Call First
Despite all the foreknowledge of the dangers and plans for what to do when hazards occur, workers still get hurt in accidents. Sometimes, the victim’s boss or their insurance company doesn’t want to pay worker’s compensation. Other times, the injury is partially or wholly the fault of a non-employer third party, which means that the injury victim could seek a separate liability claim for their damages – regardless of whether or not they’ve already claimed workers comp.
That’s when an experienced New York construction accident attorney comes in. We at the Weinstein Group have what it takes to stand up for client interests. Each case and every client is important to us, and we will take the case only if we can win it. We don’t get paid unless you do, so there’s no risk to you.
Call us today at 212-741-3800 or use our online form to schedule an appointment, and speak to one of our New York construction accident attorneys before you accept any settlement agreement for your injury losses.