The construction field has been ranked by the United States Department of Labor as the most dangerous private sector industry for U.S. workers, and there were 721 fatalities in 2011. If you work in the construction field, you should always remain aware of your surroundings at all times. The following list examines four of the main accidents that cause multiple injuries and fatalities each year, but it is by no means an exhaustive list of everything that you need to watch out for.
Four Potentially Fatal Construction Accidents
1) Forklift – If you are in charge of operating a forklift, it is imperative for you to be aware of the speed, weight and central balance of the machine. If any of these factors is not within the proper guidelines, it is extremely easy for a forklift to roll over. In fact, this type of construction accident is so common that more than 95,000 forklift workers are injured on an annual basis, and approximately 100 people are killed. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that you have been properly trained before you operate a forklift, and you should also strictly adhere to all of your company’s safety guidelines; but if you are injured on this equipment you will always want to reach out to a forklift injury attorney.
2) Ladders – Almost 25,000 workers will be injured each year due to falling off of a ladder or stairwell, and approximately 35 will die. Falling in general is one of the most dangerous aspects of the construction industry, but if you happen to fall while you are on a ladder, the risk of sustaining a serious injury is much higher. One of the main issues with this type of fall is that you are most likely going to land on either your back or your side, and this can cause serious injuries to your head, neck, back or hip. If you have to climb a ladder, it is important to hold on tightly, and secure yourself to the ladder whenever possible.
3) Scaffolding – Because scaffolding is erected on a temporary basis, it is easy for the construction crew to make a mistake. Unfortunately, problems with the way that scaffolding has been erected lead to 50 fatalities and approximately 4,500 injuries each year. To ensure that you do not become the latest victim of scaffolding, you need to take the time to make sure that it has been properly erected. This requires all of the legs to be standing firmly on solid ground without any potentially unstable objects being used to prop them up. If you see anything that makes you suspicious about the safety of the scaffolding, you should immediately report your concern to your supervisor.
4) Trenching – Whenever it is necessary to enter a trench, you should make sure that there is a viable exit in place in case of an emergency. It is also important to avoid any trenches that are unsecured. Although trenching does not cause as many injuries as the other accidents on this list, it still accounts for at least 24 fatalities and more than 200 injuries each year.
Regardless of the type of construction job that you are doing, it is important to remain alert, follow all of the applicable safety procedures and report anything unusual to a supervisor. By doing this, you might save not only your own life, but also the lives of everyone else who is working with you.
Author Anthony Joseph writes about various legal subjects, and contributes this particular article toward construction safety practices. Having the right forklift injury attorney after an accident can make all the difference. The Perecman firm has lawyers with over 50 years of construction accident experience. They can effectively handle your court case, as well as your workers comp claim.