Unfortunately, construction accidents happen all too often in Upstate New York, and they are usually the result of equipment failure or a lack of safety standards on construction sites. In many cases, construction workers who fall from scaffolding have died from their injuries or suffered debilitating lifelong complications. There are many different ways a construction worker can become injured on a construction site. We have listed the five most common types of construction injuries in New York below.
1) Fall Accidents
Despite the requirement that construction workers wear harnesses and safety equipment while on roofs and outside tall buildings, many construction workers continue to suffer severe injuries or even die from fall accidents. Fall accidents are the most common type of construction-related accident in the United States. Additionally, fall accidents are not limited to falling off a roof or scaffolding outside of a tall building. Many construction workers fall off of equipment or scaffolding that is lower to the ground. Some even fall in dangerous holes in the ground and construction sites.
When job site managers fail to put up proper safety precautions, fall accidents can and do happen. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fall accidents are the most common cause of death on construction sites. According to their report, falls accounted for 38.7% of construction work-related deaths in New York State in 2016.
2) Being Struck By an Object
Next to fall accidents, being struck by an object was the second most common cause of deaths at construction sites in New York. A recent report by OSHA stated that 7.3% of all construction-related deaths in New York were due to construction workers being crushed or becoming stuck or caught between equipment or other objects.
Construction workers can become strapped by nearly any type of falling object, including shifting or loose materials. They can also become injured when equipment malfunctions or when rigging fails. This classification of construction accidents also includes construction workers killed or seriously injured after being run over by a moving car, truck, or another moving vehicle.
All too often, construction workers die from electrocution. Despite federal and state laws requiring construction companies to treat open electrical wires carefully, and new safety measures to prevent electrocution, this devastating type of injury still occurs. Construction sites are often the location of many different kinds of hazards that can cause electrocution, such as:
- Improper cord use
- Wet conditions
- Damaged equipment
- Faulty electrical wiring
- Improper electrical grounding
- Working too close to power wires
4) Being Caught in Between or Under Heavy Machinery
Accidents involving a construction worker being caught in between or below a heavy piece of machinery can also be deadly. Sometimes, construction workers become trapped, caught, or struck when structures, heavy objects, equipment, or even scaffolding collapses. There are many different causes for these types of accidents. One cause involves faulty equipment that will not stop in time to prevent a crushing accident.
In other cases, employers hire workers who are not properly trained to operate heavy machinery. This is especially common with crane usage. Many cranes used by New York construction companies are incredibly intricate, and they require a crane operator with knowledge and experience specific to operating a crane. Even when a construction worker has worked with heavy equipment before, they may still be too inexperienced in operating a crane. Crane accidents can be incredibly dangerous when a crane crashes into a building. The crane itself and the debris that falls from the construction site can crush until numerous people at one time.
Being caught in between or under heavy machinery is a risk at all construction site locations, but it is especially prevalent in urban East Coast construction work sites. Construction workers are often required to work on tall skyscrapers or in incredibly crowded conditions. With so many buildings near any construction work, their managers may become more focused on getting jobs done and getting paid than making sure their job sites are properly secure and safe for their employees.
5) Injuries Caused by Scaffolding
Finally, many construction accident injuries happen on ladders and scaffolding. There are many different causes of scaffolding accidents, and in some cases, the scaffold support itself or the planking will give way, causing the construction workers to fall. When the scaffolding is not assembled properly, or the equipment itself is damaged, scaffolding accidents are more likely to happen.
Construction workers can also slip and fall on scaffolding because of a dangerously unsafe incline, insufficient planking, a lack of proper guardrails, or slippery surfaces. In some cases, employers will not check to make sure their employees are wearing the proper safety harnesses and that they have received enough training to be working on high scaffolding. Similarly, construction workers on roofs or climbing up tall ladders should have the experience necessary to do so safely.
Contact Our Experienced Construction Accident Lawyers Today
If you or your loved one have suffered an injury in a New York construction accident, Stanley Law Offices is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.