The construction industry in Texas is booming, but with the explosion of growth has come increasing construction accidents. Because construction workers are often working with dangerous tools and/or materials on hazardous worksites, they are at a higher risk of workplace accidents than those in other industries. Let’s take a look at some of the most common construction industry accidents happening in Texas:
Falls from A Height
Because construction workers build upwards, they often work from heights, including working on scaffolding. These workers quite often place their safety and their lives into the hands of the crew that puts up and maintains the scaffolding they use as part of their work. Unfortunately, falls from scaffolding systems that are either defective or improperly installed or maintained make these jobs even less safe and they are far too common.
Most common injuries involving falling from a height have to do with something called “axial load.” This means the type and severity of the fall injury can depend on how the worker hits the ground. For example, sometimes a worker can fall and land in a standing position, meaning feet-first, resulting in fractured bones in their legs, ankles, and feet because that’s where the axial load impacts them to the greatest extent. Likewise, if they land on their head, the axial load can lead to traumatic brain injury or spine or neck fractures, which can be devastating, even leading to permanent paralysis. Without the appropriate safety harnesses and other safety measures, workers can suffer severe injuries or even death from falls.
Heavy Machinery Accidents
Construction workers wouldn’t be able to accomplish many of their builds without the help of heavy machinery. While heavy machinery is crucial to the job, it can also pose a risk to workers. Getting struck by the machines or caught in the machines can cause amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious trauma.
One such machine that is commonly used in the construction industry is a crane. In Texas, we see our fair share of cranes involved in construction and industrial sites. While cranes are clearly essential tools when it comes to lifting heavy objects while building, they are also incredibly dangerous if they aren’t properly operated. Cranes may also buckle or collapse due to mechanical failures, overturn and crash into neighboring buildings, drop heavy objects, or even run into power lines. A crane malfunction can cause devastating injuries to multiple workers.
Slips and Falls
From uneven ground to slick surfaces, construction workers can easily slip and fall. If there are slippery conditions on the worksite and they are not marked according to OSHA guidelines, workers may not see the hazards and could slip and fall. Even when not falling from a great height, slips and falls can cause broken bones, neck and back injuries, and other debilitating physical damage.
Some of the materials and substances workers work with and around are extremely flammable. If a fire starts on a worksite, workers can get trapped by flames or have to move through areas with heavy smoke. Severe burns and lung damage are just some of the injuries construction workers may have after a workplace fire. Taking safety precautions like wearing flame resistant clothing and training employees on fire safety can greatly reduce the likelihood of workplace fire injuries.
The integration of electrical equipment can pose an electrocution risk to workers if live wires and unfinished electrical systems are not clearly marked with warning signs. In addition to the inherent risk of working with live electricity, many electrical tools can malfunction and cause severe injuries to construction workers. Whether working with dangerous electrical tools or working closely to live power lines, construction workers must be extremely cautious when working with or near electricity.
The heat in Texas can take a toll on construction workers. Because most work outside all day, they are at an increased risk of developing heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Pressure to get work completed quickly may encourage workers not to take breaks during the day, even when high temperatures and humidity are dehydrating their bodies. Workers need frequent breaks and lots of fluids to help prevent heatstrokes. Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage a worker’s brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. The damage gets much worse the longer emergency treatment is delayed, increasing the risk of serious complications or death.
Workers who suffer injuries in construction accidents often require many years of special medical care and rehabilitation, and some end up permanently disabled. In some cases, a construction accident can lead to a wrongful death.
Liggett Law Group: Texas Construction Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one is injured in a construction accident, you need experienced lawyers on your side that have thorough knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations governing these jobsites. While each case is different, in order to protect your ability to recover for all of your injuries and damages, you need the Texas construction accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group by your side. Call us today for a free consultation.