What Makes Construction Jobs So Dangerous?

by | Jan 26, 2022 | Construction Accidents

The bustling construction industry in Greater Lexington accounts for about a fifth of all workplace fatalities. A few dollars is often the difference between a losing bid and a winning bid. To many employers, worker safety is an unnecessary cost. They often cut corners in areas like safety equipment and safety education. When that happens, people get hurt. These injuries are often fatal.

Trauma injuries, which are discussed below, are not the only hazards at area construction sites. These workers face many hidden hazards as well. In many cases, it could be months, years, or even decades before symptoms of a serious work-related illness appear. 

Construction trauma injury or occupational disease victims have several legal options. A Lexington personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and identify the pros and cons of each approach. Working together, attorney and client can put together a plan of action which leads to maximum compensation for your serious injury.

Trauma Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the “fatal four” cause most of the fatal accidents at Lexington construction sites:

  • Falls: A fall from as little as four stories above ground is often immediately fatal. Slip and fall injuries, which are common at busy construction sites, are usually impossible to completely recover from. Many of them are eventually fatal. These injuries are especially serious if the victim has a pre-existing condition, such as a previous fall injury at a previous construction site.
  • Struck By: These injuries are similar to a fall from a height. The further a person falls, the more serious the injury is. Likewise, the further a small object, like a dropped hammer, falls, the more serious the injury is when the object strikes someone. Hardhats alone often offer little protection in these incidents.
  • Caught Between: These construction site injuries normally involve motor vehicle collisions. Dump truck and other drivers usually have a hard time seeing pedestrians. As a result, these vehicles often pin workers against retaining walls and other solid objects. Serious injuries are inevitable at this point.
  • Electrocution: Continuing a similar busy construction site theme, it’s very difficult to distinguish between dead wires and live ones in these environments. Contact with a live wire could cause catastrophic burns or a fall. The electricity running through these wires generates heat that’s hotter than the sun. Furthermore, the resulting arc blast usually propels victims through the air.

These injuries normally cause significant financial losses. Workers’ compensation pays medical expenses and replaces lost wages in these situations, even if the victim was partially or mostly at fault. If the employer knowingly put workers in danger, perhaps by sending them to locations that safety inspectors had already cited, additional compensation may be available.

Additional compensation is also available if a defective product, like an unsafe tool, caused injury. Typically, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause.

Occupational Diseases

The aforementioned trauma injuries occur suddenly and without warning. Occupational diseases, on the other hand, take effect subtly and gradually. Some common pones include:

  • Repetitive Stress Disorder: Knee injuries are the most common repetitive stress injuries, followed closely by back problems. Clerical support construction workers are not immune to RSD. Computer eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome are the most common such injuries.
  • Cancer: Mesothelioma is one of the most common, and one of the most dangerous, cancers associated with construction sites. Asbestos, which builders commonly used as an insulator until the 1980s, causes mesothelioma, which is a rare form of heart/lung cancer. One microscopic fiber can cause this disease.
  • Breathing Problems: Toxic exposure also causes breathing problems. Benzene fumes are a good example. Diesel fuel and industrial solvents usually release these fumes, which smell rather sweet. Over time, these fumes build up in the lungs, causing scar tissue to block the narrow but critical airways in these organs.

Initial symptoms of these occupational diseases are easy to overlook. A victim might believe that a long day at work caused a sore knee, many non-work conditions can cause breathing problems, and mesothelioma’s latency period is usually at least thirty years. 

Therefore, if you have ever worked a construction job and you feel at all abnormal, it’s usually best to immediately file a workers’ compensation claim and see a doctor. It’s illegal to discriminate against people who file workers’ compensation claims. Furthermore, you can always withdraw the claim later if necessary.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act. #goodelawyers