Construction is Booming - Construction Accidents May IncreaseJune 14, 2013 | Category: Construction Accidents | Share
In 2009, the latest available statistics, the construction industry was the most common industry in Lee County. During the economic slow-down, Southwest Florida experienced a downturn in construction, but not any longer. Now that Hertz, the world's largest rental car company, is locating its 300,000 square foot, corporate headquarters in Estero, home building and commercial construction will be on a rise. With the resurgence of construction, there will be an increase of construction accidents.
Some common examples of construction site accidents are:
- Chemical - from acids, bases, oxidizers, or solvents. Chemical burns may happen instantly or over time and cause extreme pain and lasting injuries to skin, eyes, and lungs.
- Steam - from contact with pipes and heavy machinery. Steam burns may cause severe pain and leave permanent scars.
- Electrical - from exposed or incomplete wiring. These burns can cause damage to the skin area and internal injuries.
- Traditional - from fire or scalding water.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Pesticides, concrete-curing compounds, paints and masonry cleaning acids used on construction sites may cause harm to unsuspecting workers. These workers may not even show poisoning symptoms immediately.
- Crane accidents
- On May 6, 2013 two construction workers were hurt in Brooklyn, NY when they were pinned under the bucket of a crane which collapsed at a construction site.
- Forklift accidents
- According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) between 1980 and 1994 (most recent available data) there were 1,021 worker deaths from traumatic injuries while on forklifts. These injuries were the result of forklift overturns-22%, worker on foot struck by forklift-20%, victim crushed by forklift-16%, and falls from forklifts-9%.
- Slips and falls
- Construction sites change daily, through the building process to completion. What may not be a hazard one day, may be the next. Excavation for plumping may not have been there before, but it is now. These changes represent possible slip and fall hazards at construction sites. In 2010 the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reported that 751 constructions workers died on the job, with 35% of those fatalities resulting from falls.
- Structural collapses
- On April 8, 2013 The Charlotte Observer reported that two children were killed at a construction site when a wall of dirt at a home construction site collapsed on them.
- Structural collapses may also happen as a result of unstable structures sending workers to the ground or falling on workers and/or passers-by.
- Electric shock
- Electrocution or electric shock is a great risk for construction workers. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) electric shocks were responsible for 1,200 on-the-job fatalities and over 13,000 severe injuries over a five-year period.
- Power tool accidents
- Power tools are always used on construction sites, and even experienced workers may be injured because of faulty equipment or unsafe practices.
- Scaffold accidents
- The CDC reports that 20% of all non-fatal injuries at construction sites come from falls, most of which are from scaffolds. Scaffold accidents usually result in life-changing death or injuries some of which are: severed limbs, brain damage, paralysis, nerve damage, lost vision, and spinal cord injuries.
- Falling debris
- The Real Deal (New York City Real Estate News) reported March 15, 2013 that a construction worker was injured by falling debris at a New York City construction site.
- Misuse of stepladders
- Ladders should be positioned correctly before each use. While they are in use, they can slip or move. Workers could also slip and fall when getting on or off ladders. These injuries can range from minor strains or sprains to severe traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and even death.
- Lifting and body strains
- Heavy lifting may come with the job of a construction worker, but there are risks. These risks are posed by: the actual weight of the objects (50 pounds or more could put worker at risk of serious injury.) lifting objects in awkward positions, holding heavy objects for a long time or repeatedly, and environmental factors such as extremely hot or cold weather which can make heavy lifting dangerous. Poor lighting and other environment factors may also have impact.
- Equipment malfunctions
- Construction site equipment should be properly maintained and safe to prevent worker injuries. A regular maintenance scheduled should be followed at all times.
- Fires and explosions
- According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) fire and explosion hazards at construction sites are listed third on the "deadly dozen's" unsafe conditions list.
- Defective equipment
- Any piece of construction equipment can fail and cause serious injury or death to the operator or bystanders as a result of design defect, manufacturing defect or failure to warn.
"We at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. are glad the construction industry in Southwest Florida is active again. We encourage construction workers to 'work safely'. The overall safety of construction projects under Florida law is the general contractor's responsibility. However, with contractors and sub-contractors involved in a project, determining who was responsible for the safety hazard can be a very complex process and requires construction accident experts," says Attorney Randall Spivey.
Construction Accident Injury Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.