Construction Accidents: The Risks, Facts & Repercussions Involved

Working in construction is not only a physically demanding job, but at times, it can also be quite dangerous. While most accidents cause only minor injuries, some of them can leave life-altering consequences. If you work in construction, you should be aware of all the risks you expose yourself to, which can help you avoid them. Nevertheless, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the repercussions and your rights should you get injured at your workplace. Here is everything you need to know about construction accidents.

Common Causes of Construction Accidents

There are different types of accidents that can occur at a construction site. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Falling: Workers can fall from unprotected parts of the construction, whether by tripping in a protruding piece of equipment, stepping into holes, or slipping on ladders.
  • Being hit by objects: An object falling from greater heights can cause significant injuries, but a moving vehicle can cause even more extensive ones. 
  • Electrocutions: This can happen when working with power lines that lack proper grounding. Faulty equipment and its improper use can also lead to electrocution.
  • Getting stuck: Working without personal protective gear can cause the worker to get caught between objects.
  • Structural and trench collapses: These are caused by serious negligence and often result in critical injuries for a number of workers.
  • Burns: Chemical spills, fires, and explosions can result in burns leading to life-threatening conditions.

These accidents can be caused by numerous reasons, including improper or missing protective equipment, inadequate training, defective tools, and a hazardous environment. The severity of the injuries sustained in these events depends on the individual circumstances. They can include fractures, burns, crushing, psychological trauma, smoke inhalation, spinal and brain damage, amputation, and in the worst case – death.

Accident Claims and Workers’ Compensation

In most cases, the only action you can take against your employer regarding a workplace injury is by filing a claim through the workers’ compensation system. If the negligence of a third party caused your injury, you can and should take legal action against them. Another problem workers experience at a construction site in Texas is employers disputing their right to workers’ compensation. For this reason, San Antonio-based lawyers at recommend consulting a legal advisor about workers’ compensation as soon as you can after getting hurt. An experienced construction accident lawyer can review the circumstances under which you were injured and discuss your further legal options.

Your Rights and Obligations

Every employee has a right to work in an environment where they aren’t subjected to any safety hazards. The responsibility of reducing the risks of suffering an injury at a worksite falls primarily on the employer. To protect their workers, an employer should do the following:

  • Train employees on how to look out for their own safety
  • Perform regular risk assessments regarding specific tasks and overall performance
  • Provide proper labeling for hazards
  • Supply all workers with suitable personal protective equipment
  • Sanction shortcuts and safe reward practices
  • Provide a clean and organized worksite
  • Prepare workers for an eventual accident through emergency drills

Responsibility for preventing injuries belongs to the employee as well, who must follow the proper safety procedures and protocol at all times. The actions of one single worker can affect the entire team’s safety, which means everyone is required to cooperate in reducing the risk of an accident. Workers are encouraged to report anyone or anything that may go against the proper safety procedures.

The Repercussions

A serious injury can restrict your daily activities and your ability to work for a while. You may not even be able to return to the same position or rejoin the workforce at all after getting hurt. Workers’ compensation can provide a short-term solution for your finances. However, if your injuries were too severe, you and your entire family may soon end up in financial difficulty. The inability to provide for them, the sudden changes in your lifestyle, and the injury itself can also result in mental health deterioration.

As you can clearly see, a construction accident can have repercussions that go far beyond physical injury. Loss of employment (even if temporarily) can put the worker’s family in a financially strenuous position. Not to mention the limited legal recourse you can take against your employer even if the injury was caused due to their negligence. For this reason, if you have suffered an injury on a worksite, your best option is to consult an attorney with experience in handling cases like yours. They can advise you on the best course of action regarding financial compensation.

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