Construction machinery is a critical part of completing any project at a construction site. Because construction machinery is frequently used to complete major projects, it is also common for workers to be injured in an accident with construction equipment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that fatal work injuries in the construction sector increased by 5 percent to 775 in 2012. This figure was an increase from a total of 738 workers who were injured in 2011.
Why Construction Equipment Accidents Occur
Construction workers are at risk for having any part of their bodies injured in an accident with construction equipment. Construction equipment frequently requires that workers use their head, arms, hands, legs, torso and feet to operate equipment on a construction site. Those who must operate this equipment or work in close proximity to it can be at risk for being seriously injured.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration does put forth regulations that managers and others in an authoritative position within the construction industry must follow. These regulations control the type of maintenance work that must be performed on equipment, the type of safeguards that must be in place for construction workers and the types of protective gear that must be provided to construction workers in order to eliminate dangers on a worksite.
The accidents that occur on a worksite may be due to management’s failure to provide the necessary funding to abide by OSHA regulations. Some construction companies simply do not want to invest the time or money into maintaining equipment and ensuring that every worker is safe on a worksite. They may think that it is more affordable to risk the injury of a worker than to actually make use of certain safeguards. As a result, workers may suffer from injuries in forklift, backhoe, crane, skid steer, scissor lift, bulldozer or front-end loader accidents
Types of Injuries Associated with Construction Equipment and Machinery Accidents
There are serious types of injuries that construction workers can suffer after being involved in an accident. After working with equipment on a worksite, one can suffer from a construction machinery injury that involves one of the following:
• Amputated limbs
• Severe burns
• Electric shock
• Eye or face injuries
• Fractured limbs
• Permanent disabilities
• Paralysis and shock
• Anxiety and depression
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Knee and ankle injuries
• Shoulder injuries
• Toxic exposure
• Spinal cord injuries
The Department of Labor & Industries also reports that there are numerous types of “compensable” claims that construction workers may qualify to file. When one is involved in these types of accidents and suffers a serious injury, he or she may be able to file a workers compensation or third-party claim to cover the cost of experiencing a permanent disability or having to receive rehabilitative treatments.
These claims reported by the Department of Labor & Industries include:
• Being caught in machinery
• Fall from a high surface
• Fall on a flat surface
• Being struck by an object
• Being involved in motor vehicle accidents
• Suffering from work-related injuries in ankles or feet
• Musculoskeletal injuries in the upper body
Manufacturers and oversight authority figures have certain duties of care that they must abide by in providing equipment to employees. Manufacturers may not sell defective equipment to workers, and construction managers must ensure that such equipment is safe to use.
They must also ensure that workers have been properly trained to be able to operate this equipment. Poorly maintained equipment can be a lead factor in causing serious injury to employees. Employees may even suffer from death in the worst instances after using a piece of defective or poorly maintained construction equipment.
Even if there is a tight deadline for the completion of a construction site project, this does not mean that the safety of workers has to be compromised. Construction oversight authorities must take every precaution possible to abide by OSHA regulations and create a safe and healthy workplace for all.How a Lawyer Can Help Injured Construction Workers in an Accident With Machinery or Equipment
Workers who have a construction machinery or equipment injury can seek legal recourse. Chicago construction accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are available to help workers in this time of need. Construction workers can get in touch with attorneys to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about their legal rights.
Damages in the form of medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and other types may be available to those who have suffered in a construction site accident. Attorneys will listen to the facts of your case and complete a thorough investigation of the construction site relevant to your case.
Resources related to construction accidents involving machinery: