When considering the world’s most dangerous jobs, construction work may not leap immediately to mind but accidents in the construction industry are consistently in the top-ten of all workplace accidents. Unfortunately, not only are construction accidents a leading cause of personal injury on the jobsite, these accidents also result in tragic fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that in 2019 about 20% of all worker fatalities were in the construction industry.
What Makes Construction Jobs So Dangerous?
If you’ve spent any time at a construction site, it quickly becomes clear how much danger construction workers are in while performing the tasks required of them. Construction workers are operating and working around heavy equipment, power tools, unstable trenches, live electricity and often use scaffolding and ladders to access rooftops. There is not one aspect of a construction worker’s job that doesn’t carry with it some risk of being injured and even losing their life on the job.
Despite the risks of being injured that are inherent in construction work, the Indiana REAProject reports that Tippecanoe County, of which Lafayette is the county seat, surpasses the average annual number in construction job growth for the state of Indiana in both long-term and short-term averages. This growth in the construction job sector is great for the economy of Lafayette and surrounding areas, but also brings with it an increased risk of accidents occurring at construction sites.
Construction Accidents and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA is an agency run by the United States Department of Labor with the stated mission to “ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” The standards set by OSHA are there to protect construction workers from preventable injuries, and employers are required to implement and maintain those standards on the jobsite. Violation of OSHA standards exposes workers to hazardous conditions and increases the rate of injury accidents and fatalities. Negligence in keeping and maintaining a safe work environment is against the law and often workers will seek an attorney to help them file a claim against the business owner if they are injured as a result of a violation.
The standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration only protect workers if they are enforced. With only 1,850 inspectors for 130 million workers, lax implementation and negligent employers often go unchecked.
The most frequently cited standards violations in construction for 2020 are:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Control of hazardous energy
- Powered industrial trucks
- Fall protection training
- Eye and face protection
- Machinery and machine guarding
With the general awareness of safety issues on the rise, and the government rules in place, there is still a long way to go. Without regular oversight and inspections for compliance, construction job site safety is left in the hands of individual employers and companies. Time and money saving short-cuts may benefit a lax employer but places workers at a higher risk for injuries as a direct result of workplace negligence. If a worker is injured due to an unsafe job-site, they are within their right to file an injury claim.
Lafayette Construction Accident Law Firm
The Hensley Legal Group was founded in 1998 by John Hensley, with a desire and commitment to provide personal injury legal services to all people, regardless of their financial situation. John Hensley expanded his offices and personnel to where it is today, a thriving law firm with over 60 team members and multiple locations throughout Indiana. Hensley Legal Group is proud to serve the residents of Lafayette and help victims of personal injury recovery the compensation that they deserve.
The award winning lawyers at Hensley are skilled, compassionate and experienced in all major practice areas, including construction accident litigation. If you’ve been involved in a Lafayette, Indiana construction accident, the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group are here to help. For a free, no obligation case evaluation, call the Hensley Legal Group at 317-563-7967.
Types of Construction Accidents
Construction job-sites are often buzzing with energy, industry and the sound of power tools. As far as workplaces go, construction sites are exciting places to be, they can also be incredibly dangerous. accidents are far too common occurrences at construction jobs and despite regulations and rules in place to minimize the danger, accidents still happen.
The cause of a construction accident often involves:
Falls in the workplace can be caused by unstable work surfaces, lack of protective equipment, and lack of training. There are multiple causes for falls resulting in injury at a construction site.
Ladders: Falls from ladders are common on construction sites. Often the wrong type of ladder is used for a specific job-type or a ladder has seen better days and has damage, broken rungs or missing safety devices. Ladders are manufactured to handle certain loads and if the recommended weight limit is exceeded, the ladder can fail, causing a personal injury. If a metal ladder is used around live electrical wires, electrocution can occur, resulting in a fall. Slippery, unmaintained ladder rungs are another cause of dangerous falls.
Roofs: Improper use or lack of use of safety harnesses while working on a roof is a major cause of falling. Tying off to an anchor and wearing a properly fitted harness are steps that are often skipped in an attempt to save time and money.
Scaffolding: Scaffolding equipment needs to be inspected regularly for flaws and breakage and property maintained in order to be safe to use. Damaged and improperly assembled equipment leads to failure and collapse, a leading cause of injury and even death on a construction site.
Slip and Fall: Failure to maintain a clear walkway, wipe up spills, and keep
a construction site free of clutter is a main cause of falls that cause injury at a worksite.
Many chemicals, dust, and fumes are created during construction. If proper ventilation isn’t utilized and there is a failure to provide personal protective equipment, such as respirators or facemasks, a worker can be injured or suffer long-term illness.
Some of the most serious injuries on a construction site are caused by heavy machinery. Forklifts, tractors, trucks and other machinery can strike pedestrians or cause fatal crushing injuries. Rollovers and other dangerous situations can be avoided with proper training and safety procedures.
Power tools should be equipped with barrier guards, electronic safety shut offs and two-handed tripping devices in order to avoid injury. The proper use of power tools makes modern construction possible, but it also brings a real danger of serious injury if not used properly.
Lafayette Indiana Accident Attorneys Help Victims Construction Accidents
If you have been involved in a construction accident and have suffered a personal injury as a result, a construction accident lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Personal injury compensation for an accident on the job is often satisfactorily resolved through filing a workers compensation claim. However, workers compensation claims can be a minefield of technicalities, any one of which could be the reason for your claim to be denied. If you are concerned about filing a workers compensation claim or have had a claim denied, a Lafayette personal injury lawyer can help you through the claims and appeal processes.
Lawyers with experience in construction personal injury law can ensure that paperwork is filled out correctly and filed within the time restraints always impose on personal injury claims. If your claim is denied, a Lafayette personal injury law firm can present evidence of your accident, proof of negligence and evidence to substantiate the extent of your injuries. Indiana attorneys with professional credentials and record of success will fight for fair compensation.
Hensley Legal Group is a Lafayette personal injury law firm that offers honest, assertive and dependable legal representation to victims of accidents at the workplace. Having a personal injury lawyer to look out for your best interests can make all the difference in your fight for fair compensation and justice for your accident.
Indiana Lawyer Construction Accident Compensation
Personal injury compensation is divided into categories, economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include financial losses that you suffered due to the accident. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Medical equipment i.e wheelchairs, crutches
- Home health medical fees
Non-economic damages are more difficult to assess and it is helpful to have an attorney to guide you when seeking such damages. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of professional capacity
Injuries from construction accidents can cause long-term, permanent damage. Having a lawyer in Indiana help file your claim and guide you through the process is invaluable. An attorney can complete a case evaluation and provide a professional estimate on what your case is worth.
The attorneys at Hensley Legal Group believe that everyone who needs a lawyer should have access to one, regardless of their financial situation. Hensley Legal Group offers a free no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. In addition to a free consultation, the attorneys at Hensley require no upfront fees and work on a contingency basis. If we don’t win your case, we don’t get paid. It’s that simple. With all the medical bills, job concerns, and stress involved in a workplace accident, the last thing you need to worry about is paying a lawyer.
Hensley Legal Group is an award-winning law firm dedicated to their clients’ recovery. Call 317-563-7967 to schedule a free consultation.