The construction industry remains busy and continues to be bustling in Texas even during the pandemic. While those working in construction work hard and are grateful for their opportunities, job sites can be riddled with risk, and often employers and site managers do not live up to their safety obligations under state and federal laws. Even though construction sites are dangerous and the work is physically intense, the law protects construction workers from being put in danger by those who benefit financially from their labor.
Our state’s hard-working laborers deserve a safe workplace – and the law requires it. While there are many risks construction workers face on job sites, many will lead to very serious injuries and some even to death. If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, the victim may have suffered one of the top 10 construction site injuries as listed below.
Most Common Construction Site Injuries
Construction sites are unstable and that instability causes catastrophic personal injuries. These workplace injuries are caused by falls, falling materials, electrocutions, explosions, faulty machinery, and more. The most common construction site injuries include:
- Burns: Construction sites contain a variety of hazards, many of which involve flammable chemicals that can cause explosions. Construction site burn injuries can be caused by a variety of occupational hazards, including electrocution, heat from a fire, steam, hot liquids or objects, and more.
- Electrocution: Electrocution injuries can include nerve damage, muscular problems, cardiac arrest, or electrical burns. Employers should provide equipment and work environments with proper insulation, guarding, and other protective measures. When construction companies fail to ensure their workers are protected from electrocution, the consequences can be life-changing and even deadly.
- Eye Injuries: Each day, at least 2,000 workers sustain a workplace eye injury. Most are caused by particles striking or scraping the eye after being blown off from tools or even blown into the eye by the wind. If items fall from above and strike a worker’s eye, damage can be more severe and even penetrate the eye. In addition, chemicals can get into the eye and cause serious harm.
- Head and/or Brain Injury: A staggering 24% of traumatic brain injuries are work-related. Head injuries can range from a bump or minor concussion to life-altering or fatal brain trauma, which makes it imperative for an injured construction worker to seek immediate medical attention after a workplace head injury. Brain injuries are difficult to diagnose because they may not show over physical symptoms, and they can be incredibly costly to manage, often with lifelong consequences.
- Broken Bones: Construction sites are notorious for causing broken bones, including those caused by falls from a height, items being dropped from above and landing on workers below, slips, trips, and falls, workplace motor vehicle accidents, and even repetitive motion problems.
- Toxic Exposure Illnesses: Construction sites use a variety of materials, many of which are toxic to humans. Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause burns, rashes, throat problems, lung injuries, and more. Common substances that are the source of workplace toxic exposure include asbestos, benzene, vinyl chloride, hydrochloric acid, carbon monoxide, silica, sulfuric acid, and more.
- Spinal Cord Injury: Workplaces that are tough on the body, like construction sites, generally have a higher incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI). In fact, some estimates maintain that at least 12% of work-related injuries involve damage to the spinal cord. Since the spine helps your brain communicate with the rest of your body, an SCI can negatively impact your life forever, impacting various aspects of your health – both mental and physical.
- Lower Extremity Injury: Leg, ankle, and knee injuries are extremely common in construction work. These lower extremity injuries will keep laborers out of work completely, as they disable them from doing their physically demanding jobs.
- Upper Extremity Injury: Neck, shoulder, and back injuries are also common industrial injuries for construction workers. Neck, shoulder, and back injuries can take the form of whiplash, herniated discs, muscle strain, sprains, cervical radiculopathy, and more. Back, neck, and upper extremity injury symptoms don’t always appear in the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident.
- Crush Injuries: When construction workers work with or near heavy equipment and complex machinery, they run the risk of suffering crush injuries. A worker’s body can be caught in machines like these, causing hands, arms, legs, and other body parts to be crushed beyond repair. Employers must ensure adequate training has been provided to everyone on a job site and that proper guarding is in place to prevent these traumatic workplace accidents.
Houston Construction Injury Lawyers
The Houston personal injury lawyers of JD Silva & Associates handle workplace injury cases across Houston and throughout the surrounding areas. We are bilingual, so we can help both Spanish and English speakers with ease. Our consultations are free and do not obligate you to work with us, so contact us today to speak with a lawyer about your situation so you can make the best decision for yourself and your loved ones moving forward.