Construction work is a very dangerous job. It involves working around and with a lot of different types of machinery and equipment. The ground is normally not level. The working conditions are constantly changing. A construction worker usually works outdoors which means having to manage the sun, rain, and other dangerous elements.
A new serious risk is the shortage of skilled construction workers which makes construction work extra-dangerous because current workers are asked to work more hours and thus become more tired. Lack of skilled workers increases the risk of machinery accidents, fires, and explosions, safety violations, and presents other dangers.
The right to sue for negligence
The first question in any construction work injury case is to a skilled Florida lawyer if and how the worker can file a negligence or personal injury claim. If the worker is an independent contractor, he or she can file a claim against the employer. If the worker is an employee, then normally the worker can only file a workers’ compensation claim.
Architects and engineers may also be liable if they fail to create a safe environment for workers. If the accident was due to a third-party - somebody other than the employer, then the worker (employee or independent contractor) can sue the third party. Common third parties are makers of defective tools and equipment. The distributors and sellers of these defective parts may also be liable.
Workers’ compensation versus personal injury
In worker's compensation claims, the claimant normally gets paid 2/3 of his or her lost wages. The medical bills for diagnosis and treatment should be paid fairly promptly. In personal injury claims, a construction worker can claim all their lost wages. They can also demand payment for their daily physical pain and emotional suffering.
Falls from scaffolding or high heights
Many workers work many stories high off the ground. They often need scaffolding, ladders, cranes, and other equipment to access these high heights. Scaffolding can be especially dangerous. High winds can make scaffolding unstable. Too many people on the scaffold or too much equipment on the scaffold can also make them unstable. Workers who fall from high heights are likely to die, to suffer spinal cord damage, or suffer traumatic brain injuries. Most who survive will suffer broken bones.
Construction workers use all sorts of makeshift power tools and equipment. Often the energy sources aren’t stable. Wet weather and extreme conditions can create electric shorts and other electrical dangers. Wiring and power lines that aren’t properly designed or managed are a constant danger. Workers who are electrocuted often die or suffer long-term catastrophic injuries
Slips and Falls
Most construction workers walk on planks, uneven ground, mud, dirt, and sorts of oddly shaped surfaces. There are often lots of tools, equipment, and debris on the ground. These surfaces and loose items can make it easy for a worker to slip and fall. Slips and falls can cause broken bones, cuts and bruises, nerve damage, and many other types of short and long-term injuries.
Construction workers work on many different levels. They have their hand tools with them, their hard hats, the lunch boxes, and other items. Anyone of these items can fall and struck someone below. Also, the construction material itself – boards, beams, and such - can also fall and cause serious injury to anyone in the material’s path.
Fires and explosions
Gas leaks, heating equipment, piping, unfinished electrical systems, faulty ignition systems, and other dangers can cause deadly and catastrophic fires and explosions.
Pinning workers between people, objects, and materials
A forklift, a crane, a vehicle, another worker, boards, materials, and other objects can also pin or confine a worker. This situation can cause broken bones, spinal cord damage, internal damage, and other injuries.
Construction work is hard work. Workers are constantly lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying objects. They work with heavy machinery in inclement weather. Many construction workers work from early in the morning until late at night. A construction worker can easily die or suffer an injury due to heatstroke or exposure to cold weather. Many workers suffer backaches, neck sprain, bad knees, and other ailments due to the constant and relentless pressure to get the job done.
Cranes, bulldozers, jackhammers, nail guns, and many other types of equipment can malfunction. Many types of machinery required skilled experienced construction workers. If training is subpar, a worker can easily get hurt.
Construction sites often use a wide array of dangerous and hazardous chemicals. Skin exposure can cause rashes and burns. Breathing exposure can cause dangerous diseases, pulmonary, and respiratory problems.
Trucks, cranes, and other vehicles are always moving about construction sites. Trucks constantly bring in new materials and remove old ones. Tired, distracted, and careless drivers can easily strike another construction worker – causing almost any type of injury – or even causing death.
When trenches, common at construction sites, collapse, workers in or near the trenches can be easily injured as the machines, tools, and materials fly around them – and as they try to avoid getting hurt by the rubble.
Repetitive motion injuries
Many construction workers perform the same tasks day in and day out. This can cause severe damage to muscles, joints, and ligaments. A repetitive stress injury can severely impact the ability to use an arm, leg, hand, or finger.
Failure to follow OSHA and industry-standard safety practices can also cause serious construction worker injuries.