Construction is an essential industry: we rely on construction workers to maintain our infrastructure and drive development. It’s also one of the most dangerous industries for Ohioans. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the transporting and material moving occupational group had the highest number of fatal workplace injuries in 2021, and the construction and extraction group had the second highest.
Understanding the hazardous conditions of job sites can help improve your safety. It might help you navigate a claim if you or a loved one are injured or killed while working.
Most Common Construction Worksite Hazards
One of the industry’s “Big Four” accidents, falls, can happen from any height. They can occur around openings, poorly-secured scaffolding, or inadequate handrails. Some construction workers have also fallen off ladders. Whether using the wrong kind of ladder or improperly using it, falls from ladders can also be deadly.
According to the CPWR- Center for Construction Research and Training, Ohio has had 65 fatal fall, slip, or trip incidents in the last ten years. A worker died after he fell from a roof in Chagrin Falls in October 2021. Falling from great heights may not always cause death, but the injuries could disrupt your ability to work.
Often associated with falls and trips, slips are another occupational hazard on Ohio construction sites. Many job elements, such as spilled liquids, lubricants, debris, cables, and cords, could pose risks to workers.
Worksite managers must ensure the area is reasonably clear of dangers that could injure or hurt employees. If a site isn’t maintained, the risk of slips increases.
3. Falling Debris
Falling debris is another danger on the worksite. Unsecured equipment, materials, or scaffolding can cause serious injuries when they fall from great heights. Construction workers aren’t the only people at risk for falling debris: pedestrians or anyone close to the worksite could also be in danger, depending on what’s falling.
There is a risk of electric shocks or electrocution for construction workers. Whether it’s new or exposed wiring or ill-maintained equipment, there are several sources of electrical injuries. Workers could leave cables in puddles, or someone may not identify hazards.
5. Vehicle Accidents
One of the biggest dangers to construction workers is vehicles on and around the job site. Backover accidents happen when a driver isn’t paying attention to a construction worker behind their vehicle. That could include dump trucks, excavation equipment, other large trucks, or lifts. If these drivers aren’t focused, or the vehicles are not equipped with the proper alert features, there could be a case for negligence.
6. Fires, Burns & Explosions
There could be several reasons for fires or explosions to happen on a job site, but they all could lead to severe burns or other injuries. Improperly using explosives, storing combustibles, or leaving exposed wires could create conditions for fires or explosions. Without proper gear or maintenance, the effects could be amplified.
7. Machinery Accidents
Construction sites have various types of equipment on hand, and injuries could ensue if operators aren’t careful or observant. Equipment like jackhammers, nail guns, saws, or drills requires diligence while using. Accidents can happen when the users are distracted or if the site isn’t properly cleared for using tools safely.
8. Crane & Forklift Accidents
There is a risk of accidents when heavy loads are moved overhead, especially if users aren’t following safety protocols, moving too quickly, or they overloaded the equipment. Cranes and forklifts need to be inspected and maintained between uses. Equipment can collapse or fall with devastating effects if operators aren’t careful.
9. Trench or Ground Collapses
Workers could be in danger of “cave-ins” at a job site if everyone isn’t being careful. Even if the trench doesn’t seem deep, someone could be buried quickly and suffocated. The danger increases when going underground or digging deep trenches. Trenches and tunnels need properly supported and constructed.
10. Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
Job sites have their fair share of chemicals or by-products. Some chemicals or hazardous waste is produced through specific actions. Sometimes laziness or neglect create spills or dangers on a worksite. Materials like solvents, glues, pesticides, acids, fuel, cleaning agents, or insulation must be handled with care and the proper equipment.
How Can You Get Compensation for Ohio Workplace Accidents?
Ohio construction workers can receive workers’ compensation, which is designed to protect employers from liability related to work injuries. Employees will also receive funds after they’re injured on the job. The workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning no one is at fault for the injury. You can receive payments for injuries from the job, like falling off a ladder, or from illnesses caused by the work you’re doing, like conditions created by spilled or toxic chemicals.
However, your injuries may exceed the workers’ compensation benefits. You can pursue a third-party liability claim if you can prove negligence caused your injuries. For instance, if a defective product injured you, you could pursue a claim against the manufacturer for making an unsafe product.
Call Us for Help Now
The personal injury attorneys at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA are ready to hear your case. We understand anything that threatens your livelihood must be taken seriously. Victor Kademenos and Adrienne Hines are our certified workers’ compensation attorneys, certified by the Ohio Bar Association.
Although construction can be a dangerous industry, you shouldn’t have to worry about securing payment after an accident. We can help you navigate your workers’ compensation claims and help hold the responsible parties accountable.