What are the Most Common Causes of Injuries on a Construction Site in New York?

Last updated on: May 3, 2024

Construction workers bear the brunt of one of the most dangerous industries in New York, experiencing high rates of injury and fatality. Construction sites require workers to be in an inherently unstable environment, resulting in accidents among builders on a regular basis. Due to unstable conditions that are common in construction zones, injuries received from accidents occur more severely than usual and commonly result in fatalities because of how quickly they happen. If you are dealing with a construction injury, seeking the advice of a skilled Queens construction accident lawyer can be crucial. Contact K L Sanchez Law Office, P.C. today at (646) 701-7990 to schedule a consultation.

Construction accidents are commonplace in the industry.

Construction workers are at risk of various injuries while on the job. While there are many different causes, the top ten construction accidents include:

  1. Falls. Work from buildings or scaffolding can be dangerous because of the high-hanging heights that construction workers are often required to work in. Falling, which is usually a result of slipping and not being able to find anything to catch oneself on, causes about one-third of all construction accidents, and this tends to happen most often when they’re working in an unstable environment. Having to use ladders, work on roofs, and on scaffolding only makes the likelihood of a fall higher.
  1. Falling Debris. Although the importance of proper equipment is well understood in this industry, workers are still exposed to hazards like tools, cables, and other building supplies present on the site. Falling items, such as tools and pieces of scaffolding, can seriously injure those below if they strike the ground from great heights.
  1. Electrocutions. It is common for exposed wires and unfinished electrical systems to be present until construction on a building has been completed. These pose a risk of electrocuting the person who flips an outlet or turns on a light switch or anyone who comes into contact with these wires.
  1. Explosions or burns. Electrocution with wires is just one of the many hazards associated with overhead power lines. Even if a wire does not electrocute someone when it is exposed, it can still spark explosions or fires. Gas leaks can create a similar threat and need to be addressed with swift action as well.
  1. Slip and falls. Construction sites have materials and tools lying around which workers can easily trip over, such as extra plumbing pieces. Buildings can also contain slippery surfaces that make falls a certainty when it rains or when people are wearing shoes with slick soles.
  1. Machinery accidents. Construction workers frequently operate machinery while on the job, such as jackhammers or large cranes which may cause serious injury.
  1. Getting trapped in/between materials. Construction sites can be unpredictable work environments, to say the least. Collapses on site can sometimes happen. Even if materials don’t directly fall on a worker, they can cause serious injuries. For example, when someone gets trapped between the wall and the material in an accident. This scenario often causes broken ribs or cuts off access to oxygen.
  1. Collapses. Excavating areas is a common practice for digging foundations. However, this process destabilizes the ground around it and can make the area prone to collapse. This leaves workers who may be inside or touching the trench in danger of collapse
  1. Vehicle crash. Construction on highways is a site with which many drivers are unfamiliar and potentially unsafe. Speeding or distracted drivers have often hit workers with their vehicles, causing serious harm.
  1. Overexertion. Labor jobs within the construction industry often require hours of grueling work in intense heat and humidity, all of which can lead to injuries like dehydration, fainting spells, or even strokes.
Accident Type Description
Falls Construction workers are often required to work at heights, increasing the risk of falling from buildings, scaffolding, or unstable environments.
Falling Debris Hazards like tools, cables, and building supplies present on construction sites can fall from heights, posing a risk to workers below.
Electrocutions Exposed wires and unfinished electrical systems can electrocute workers, especially during the construction phase of a building.
Explosions or Burns Overhead power lines and gas leaks can cause explosions or fires, endangering workers on the site.
Slip and Falls Materials and tools lying around can cause workers to trip, and slippery surfaces increase the risk of falls, especially in wet conditions.
Machinery Accidents Operating heavy machinery such as jackhammers or cranes poses a risk of serious injury to construction workers.
Getting Trapped Workers can get trapped between materials or in collapsed areas, leading to serious injuries.
Collapses Excavating areas destabilizes the ground, increasing the risk of collapses, endangering workers in or near trenches.
Vehicle Crash Workers on highway construction sites may be hit by speeding or distracted drivers, causing serious harm.
Overexertion Labor-intensive work in intense conditions can lead to dehydration, fainting, or strokes among construction workers.

List of Most Common Injuries in New York Construction Sites

Understanding the most common injuries prevalent in New York construction sites is crucial for ensuring worker safety and implementing effective preventive measures and protocols. From falls to toxic exposures, this list serves as a reminder of the risks faced by construction workers every day.

  • Construction Falls: Falls on construction sites can happen at ground level or from heights, leading to serious injuries or fatalities. They are among the leading causes of construction injury.
  • Falls: Falls, whether from slipping, tripping, or losing balance, can lead to a wide range of injuries from minor bruises to severe trauma. They are among the most frequent accidents on construction sites.
  • Falls from Heights: Falls from heights remain a leading cause of death in construction, with workers suffering from life-altering injuries or fatalities. Compliance with fall protection standards is essential to reduce these incidents.
  • Electrocution: Workers are injured by electric shock when they accidentally come into contact with electrical sources. These incidents can cause severe burns, cardiac arrest, and other life-threatening conditions.
  • Scaffold Accidents: Scaffold accidents occur when scaffolding fails or is improperly used, leading to falls and injuries from high elevations. Workers may suffer broken bones, head injuries, or worse.
  • Collapses: Structural collapses can trap or crush workers under debris, often causing serious or fatal injuries. The risk is especially high during demolition or when supports fail.
  • Trips and Falls: Workers can trip over tools or uneven ground, or slip on slick surfaces, leading to falls that can result in sprains, fractures, or head injuries. These accidents are common and can often be prevented with proper site maintenance.
  • Fractures: Fractures occur when a worker’s bones break due to falls, being struck by heavy objects, or accidents involving machinery. Recovery from such injuries can involve lengthy rehabilitation or surgery.
  • Defective Ladders: When ladders malfunction or are improperly used, they can collapse or cause a worker to fall, leading to injuries or death. Regular inspection and maintenance can prevent these accidents.
  • Falls from Roofs and Heights: Falling from a roof or any elevated work area is particularly dangerous and often results in severe injury or death. Safety measures like guardrails and harnesses are essential to prevent such falls.
  • Crane Accidents: Cranes can cause accidents if they collapse, drop loads, or are operated unsafely, posing significant risks to workers on the ground. These incidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and require strict adherence to safety protocols.
  • Burns: Construction workers can sustain burns from fires, chemicals, electrical sources, or hot materials, which can cause painful injuries and require extensive treatment. Burn injuries may also lead to long-term physical and psychological effects.
  • Head Injuries: Workers can suffer head injuries from falling objects, falls, or collisions, leading to concussions, brain damage, or other serious conditions. Protective headgear is crucial to minimize the risk of these injuries.
  • Equipment Malfunctions: Malfunctioning equipment can cause unexpected accidents, leading to crush injuries, amputations, or fatalities. Regular maintenance and safety checks are needed to prevent these malfunctions.
  • Machinery that Tip Over: Heavy machinery tipping over can crush workers or bystanders, resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. Operator training and adherence to weight limits can help prevent such accidents.
  • Struck by Object: Being struck by falling, flying, swinging, or rolling objects can cause serious injuries, from cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries. Worksite vigilance and proper securing of materials are essential to prevent these incidents.
  • Explosions and Fires: Explosions and fires can cause devastating burns, inhalation injuries, and trauma. Proper storage and handling of flammable materials, along with emergency preparedness, are crucial in mitigating these risks.
  • Crushing Accidents: Crushing accidents, where workers are pressed between objects or equipment, can lead to severe internal injuries or death. Safety barriers and training on machinery operation can reduce the incidence of such accidents.
  • Debris Falling: Falling debris poses a significant risk to workers, who can suffer head injuries, lacerations, or worse if struck. The use of hard hats and securing materials at heights are important preventive measures.
  • Vehicle Accident: Construction vehicles can cause accidents leading to injuries ranging from minor to fatal, depending on the severity of the collision. Ensuring that vehicles are well-maintained and operators are trained is vital for safety.
  • Toxic Substance: Exposure to toxic substances can lead to acute injuries, such as chemical burns, or chronic conditions, including respiratory illnesses. Proper handling and protective equipment are necessary to protect workers.
  • Vision Loss: Accidents that result in vision loss can occur when eyes are not protected from hazards such as flying debris or chemical splashes. Eye protection gear is a simple yet effective measure to prevent such injuries.

Construction sites are dynamic environments where safety should always be a top priority. By being aware of the potential hazards and implementing proper safety protocols, individuals can strive to minimize the occurrence of these injuries and create safer workspaces for construction workers.

What are Your Rights After an NYC Construction Accident?

America is home to millions of dedicated workers who make their living working in the building and construction industry. Workers such as electricians, carpenters, laborers, plumbers, and many others in the construction industry are vital to the country’s progress and success, whether they work on residential or commercial projects. 

In New York, there are specific laws that protect building and construction workers because of the dangerous nature of their jobs. These laws allow many construction workers who are injured while at work to seek compensation for their injuries. 

queens construction accident lawyer keetick l. sanchez 1
construction accident attorney in New York

If a worker is injured in an accident at work, they may be able to sue the contractor or site owner for personal injuries. This will allow them to seek compensation for their medical expenses as well as their pain and suffering. The worker may also be able to claim benefits for loss of wages. Even if the contractor or owner was not involved in the accident, the worker may be able to sue them.

Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits are available for injured workers. This benefit will cover lost wages and medical costs. The worker may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if they are permanently disabled due to a workplace accident.

Many injuries are common on construction sites, and even those who take every measure to avoid injury may still be injured. When you are injured on the job in a construction site accident, it is important to consult with an experienced New York personal injury law firm. K.L. Sanchez Law Office has years of experience handling these types of cases and will be able to help you receive any additional compensation that corresponds with your injury. Contact us for a free consultation today. Call us at (646) 701-7990

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