As of 2019, there were over 11.4 million United States workers employed in the construction industry. With so many Americans working in construction, it should come as no surprise that many suffer from serious and debilitating injuries while on the job. Construction workers face some of the most dangerous work environments and hazardous conditions of any workers in the country. When construction site managers and/or employers fail to meet the required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards, they immediately put their workers in danger. Construction workers often suffer from life-changing injuries with long recovery times causing significant impacts to their financial stability. The costs of medical treatment, physical therapy and rehabilitation, medications, and lost wages can cripple a family and leave an injured construction worker wondering how they will survive. If you or a loved one has suffered from the following common construction worker injuries, an experienced workplace accident lawyer can help.
The most common injuries suffered by construction workers include the following:
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
Many head injuries occur after a construction worker falls or a piece of heavy equipment falls on them. These types of injuries can be incredibly traumatic and require surgery and rehabilitation. If a tool is left carelessly on the edge of scaffolding, it can easily drop and hit someone on the ground. Construction tools are often incredibly heavy and if they hit an individual in the wrong spot, could even be deadly. Construction sites are also full of slippery surfaces and uneven ground, including cables and wiring strewn about. These all increase the likelihood of a worker tripping, slipping, and falling. Falls are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the construction industry and account for more than one-third of all workplace fatalities.
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Slips, trips, and falls can also cause serious spinal cord injuries and even paralysis. If a construction worker falls from a great height or slips on a hard surface, they may land in a position that permanently damages their spinal cord and causes paralysis of part of, if not their entire body. These types of injuries are incredibly severe and require immediate emergency treatment in order to minimize the severity of the damage resulting from the injury. To keep construction workers safe, employers must minimize slipping and tripping hazards on the job site.
Broken bones and fractures
One of the first types of injury someone thinks of when it comes to construction is a broken bone or fracture, as many construction accidents involve them. These injuries may range from minor to serious and can require treatments ranging from rest to major surgery. Construction workers who have suffered from broken bones or fractures on the job may be left with chronic pain and/or partial paralysis depending on a variety of factors. Broken bones and fractures can occur in many ways on a construction site, including falls, being struck by a piece of equipment, impact injuries, and more.
Many construction sites utilize fire and electricity to perform their jobs and construct specific types of structures. Chemicals are also used in construction that can be harmful to workers working with them or even near them. Many construction workers are burned by fire, electricity, and/or chemicals while working. Burns can be incredibly painful and require immediate treatment. Some burns can only be repaired with extensive surgery involving skin grafting. These sorts of catastrophic personal injuries can leave a worker permanently disfigured and facing thousands of dollars in medical treatment.
Construction workers suffer from electrocution at a greater rate than those working in any other industry in the United States. When working around live electrical wires, generators, and exposed power lines, it is easy to see just how quickly a construction worker may be electrocuted. Electrocutions can cause serious nerve damage, burns, cardiac arrest, and even death. If sources of electricity are not properly maintained and kept safe, a construction worker can quickly lose their life.
When working on a construction site, there are many tools and pieces of heavy machinery that have the potential to instantly sever a limb. Industrial machinery is required to have safety guards; however, if a machine is malfunctioning or its safety guards are not working properly, a construction worker can quickly lose a limb or digit. An amputation injury leaves a worker potentially disabled for life and could threaten their ability to work in the future. Amputations are also incredibly traumatizing and a construction worker may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after the devastation of the experience and due to the massive changes required for everyday living.
Houston Construction Accident Attorneys
After a construction worker is injured on the job, the liable parties will often do their best to deny their involvement, say it was the worker’s own fault, and offer the lowest possible compensation to the victim. This is unfair and leaves the injured party suffering physically as well as financially. All workers have a right to a safe work environment free of any dangers. If an employer fails to provide a workplace that operates in compliance with local and federal safety standards, workers are at immediate risk for life-altering injuries or worse, death. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a construction accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation; however, there is limited time to act following a work accident in Texas. Contact the Houston construction accident attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today for a free and confidential consultation.