It is well known that construction work is a dangerous occupation, but not everyone knows that the construction industry is responsible for more than 20% of workplace deaths in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 31 fatal Pennsylvania construction accident injuries in 2017. Construction worksite accident attorneys know that even when construction accident injuries are not fatal, they can be debilitating and life-changing for the injured victims and their families.
Injury risks unique to construction sites
There are a number of injury risks that are unique to the construction industry that construction workers face on a regular basis including those listed below.
- Dangerous construction equipment
- Defective construction equipment
- Falling debris from above
- Being run over or backed over by another construction site worker
- Exposure to fire and electricity
- Dangerous or defective tools
- Working from heights
- Chemical exposure
Causes of accidents
Common causes of construction site accidents relate to poor site management, poorly maintained tools and equipment, lack of safety equipment and precautions, negligent conduct of coworkers or others present on site, and equipment defects. When a third party causes construction accidents, the injured worker may have a third-party personal injury claim which allows for more recovery options than workers compensation claims that have significant recovery limits.
Third party personal injury claims
When construction accident attorneys at SMT Legal investigate a construction accident, they always focus on any possibility of third party liability. This is because workers’ compensation is more limited in recovery for people who were injured in the course of their work, but if a third party who is not the injury victim’s employer or coworker is responsible for the accident, there may be additional recovery options under a personal injury claim. The same is true if a defective tool or equipment resulted in a construction worker’s injury. A product liability claim against the seller or manufacturer of the defective product may lead to additional compensation as well. If a worker sustains fatal injuries in a construction site accident caused by a third party’s negligence, surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim against the third party for damages they sustained due to losing their loved one.
Other people injured at construction sites
Construction site injuries are not limited to construction workers on the job. Other people who sustain construction site injuries may include automobile occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists who have to navigate road construction or building construction that impacts sidewalks and streets. Working in or patronizing buildings that are under partial construction also pose injury risks. People who happen to just be near construction sites can still be injured by dangers including falling debris, construction equipment entering and exiting the site, or equipment failures such as falling cranes.