What Causes the Most Accidents on Construction Sites?

Construction Fall Injury Lawyer

It’s no secret that construction jobs are some of the most dangerous in any industry. The manual nature of the job combined with the tools and heavy machinery used can lead to injury and even death. While regulations are in place to protect construction workers on-site, they aren’t always  followed. Worker safety is frequently sacrificed to lower costs and decrease the amount of time it takes to finish a project, often with detrimental results. It’s estimated that 4,764 construction workers died in 2020 (according to the most recent data from the BLS), and roughly 150,000 more construction workers suffered an injury while on the job.

What are the causes of these injuries? What should you do if you are injured while working on a construction site?

Falls are the Leading Cause of Death

Falls are the cause of approximately 37 percent of all deaths in the construction industry. It’s not uncommon for jobs to require construction workers to be off the ground while working, and OSHA guidelines to prevent falls (such as having fall protection in place anytime workers are six feet or more off the ground) are not always followed. Many construction site falls are caused by:

  • Unprotected edges on roofs, scaffolds, floors, etc. 
  • Scaffoldings that are improperly assembled, overloaded, not adequately braced, or lacking guardrails. 
  • Workers being improperly harnessed. 
  • Ladders that are used unsafely,not secured properly, or if the wrong ladder is used for a specific task. 
  • Uncovered openings like elevator shafts, stairwells, skylights, vents, etc. 
  • Uneven or slippery surfaces. 
  • Debris, tools, or materials left on the ground. 
  • Faulty or defective equipment, or equipment that has not been properly maintained. 
  • Poor weather conditions. 
  • Lack of proper training on and awareness of safety guidelines or fall hazards. 
  • Lack of fall protection equipment or personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). 
  • Unsafe workplace procedures. 

Electrocution Risks 

Exposed wiring, wet conditions, and heavy machinery make construction sites one of the most common places for an electrocution accident to occur. These types of incidents make up about eight percent of all construction related deaths every year, making them tied for the second-most common cause of death among construction workers. Many workers are unaware of the potential electrical hazards in their work environment as well as the consequences of coming into contact with them. These types of hazards can include: 

  • Exposed wires. 
  • Puddles of water or dampness near outlets. 
  • Contact with overhead power lines near worksites. 
  • Coming into contact with energized conductors or circuit parts. 
  • Power tools and cords that are not properly maintained. 
  • Lightning strikes. 
  • Contact with buried electrical cables during excavation. 
  • Inadequate training or unsafe practices. 
  • Lack of warning signs.
  • Poor wiring installation or electrical insulation.

Falling Objects

Tied with electrocution accidents, being struck by falling objects is a leading cause of injury and death on construction sites, making up another eight percent of all fatalities every year. Many incidents involve fallen scaffoldings or cranes that have overturned, collapsed, or lost their load. Other causes can include:

  • Unsecured tools. 
  • Loose building materials or components. 
  • Heavy machinery or equipment. 
  • Safety barriers that have become dislodged. 
  • Unstable structures that have collapsed. 
  • Projectiles from nail guns or other power tools. 
  • Falling power lines, cables, or utility poles.

Being Caught Between Objects

From heavy machinery to debris, there are many places where construction workers can be crushed by an object or caught between, pinched, or squeezed by two or more objects. These injuries can be caused by heavy machinery, vehicles, tools, rotating devices or equipment, structures or materials, or even cave-ins. OSHA recommends that machinery not be left unattended and that measures be taken to prevent cave-ins and other “caught in-between” hazards. These types of accidents make up about five percent of all construction worker deaths.

What to Do If You Have Been Injured on a Construction Site

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed while working on a construction site in New Jersey, a construction accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured, seek medical attention immediately. It’s also important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Report the incident to the proper people on your jobsite and at your company. File an incident report as soon as you can. 
  • Gather information and document everything about the process.

At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, we’ve secured a total of more than a billion dollars for our clients, including multiple high-profile construction accident cases. Construction accident cases can be complex, requiring in-depth knowledge of the technology used, safety regulations, and so much more. We’ll analyze your incident to build you the strongest possible case, giving you the best chance at securing a life-changing verdict or a settlement for your life-changing accident. 

Get in touch with our team today for a free case analysis and consultation.