Catastrophic Construction Site Accidents and Injuries

Catastrophic Construction Site Accidents and Injuries Construction sites can be very dangerous for workers. These places are often venues for heavy equipment, sharp tools, and field tasks conducted at elevated heights above the ground – all of which can place workers into peril if something goes wrong.

Types of catastrophic construction accidents

Some of the accidents which can lead to catastrophic injuries include:

  • Being trapped under or in between objects in which the body is squeezed, pinched, or crushed by equipment and machinery;
  • Being hit by a moving object (like a crane) or a vehicle (like a truck or forklift);
  • Falling from standing level by tripping, slipping, or falling down on a flat surface;
  • Falling from an elevation such as a ladder, roof, or other elevated height;
  • Touching live wires or other electrical components; and
  • Inhaling or touching toxic chemicals.

Each of these events can lead to life-altering injuries. Being crushed can necessitate amputation; falling can lead to spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury.

Some of these incidents will have long-term effects that might not be immediately apparent. For example, if a transformer blows up on a construction site and an employee is burned in the blast, the burn injuries are the most visible. However, if that same employee inhaled any ash, smoke, or embers, he or she could also sustain serious damage to the lungs, windpipe, and throat. So, even if the burn injuries do not pose a deadly threat, the internal damage may.

Reasons for catastrophic construction accidents

Catastrophic construction accidents may be the fault of the worker, but many times there is another element in play. A defective part can cause a machine to clamp down on a worker, because a safety device was bypassed by the company in order to increase production or because safety devices were not properly maintained.

Regardless of what the dangers are, though, both the construction company and the site supervisor are obligated to do what they can to protect their workers. This means providing protective gear, like goggles and hard hats, and ensuring that workers are wearing their gloves, composite- or steel-toed boots, and high-vis vests. It also means shoring up ladders and scaffolds, and maintaining safety equipment like harnesses.

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide proper equipment for their workers and a safe working environment on construction sites. Unless workers are shown to be irresponsible, such as coming to work drunk or high, or engaging in purposely risky behaviors, the employer is liable for any accidents and subsequent injuries suffered by a worker on-the-job. Under most circumstances, employees can file for workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job. If they are not eligible – because they are independent contractors – then a personal injury lawsuit can help them recover damages.

If you have suffered catastrophic injuries in a construction accident, the Huntsville injury attorneys at Martin & Helms can help you with your claim. We can provide the intelligent advocacy you need to make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation about your injury case, call us today at 256.539.1990 or use our contact form to send us a message.