It should come as no surprise that construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Even in states such as New Jersey, which compares favorably with other states when it comes to overall safety, construction accidents, and the resulting injuries, are quite common. What are the most common types of construction accidents?
In 2014, the last year for which we have complete data, falls were the leading cause of death in the U.S. construction industry. Indeed, of those who died in construction-related accidents, almost 40 percent of those deaths resulted from falls. Particularly in urban areas, construction workers are often required to work at significant heights. While weather conditions sometimes contribute to the risk of falling, most falls at construction sites are caused by poor scaffold construction, improper use of ladders, and unprotected openings in shafts and stairwells.
It can come as a surprise to some persons who don’t spend much time around construction sites, but the second most common type of fatal construction accidents is electrocution. Annually, almost nine percent of all construction-related deaths result from electrical shock. During much of a construction project, workers must work around loose wiring. They often use power tools with long extension cords rigged to temporary power sources. Damp or wet conditions add to the risk of electrocution. Crane work can be particularly dangerous, as there is always the added risk of making contact with existing power lines.
3. Struck by Object
The risk of fatal injury from being struck by an object is only slightly less than that of being electrocuted. In 2014, 8.4 percent of construction fatalities resulted from getting hit by something: falling debris or tools, swinging beams, and heavy equipment. Many construction sites have protective netting to protect those on the ground from falling objects. Such safety precautions are not in place at many sites, however.
Depending on the particular accident, netting may be ineffective. Many remember the May 31, 2015 construction accident in New York City when, due to a broken crane cable, a heavy industrial air conditioning unit plunged nearly 30 stories near Madison Avenue, injuring two construction workers and eight pedestrians. In 2016, two New Jersey workers were killed in Hanover when a five-ton generator fell as a crane was hoisting it.
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Have you or a loved one suffered injury in a construction accident? At Petro Cohen, for many years, we have been representing hard-working New Jersey workers who find themselves and their families in a tight spot due to work-related injuries. We have both the skill and experience required to get the best result possible. Call or contact Petro Cohen for a free consultation. Talk with a hard-working New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer to find out whether you have a compensable claim. We can step up for you when you are not able to do so yourself. We can be reached by phone at 888-675-7607 or by completing our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.