Construction sites in Georgia and elsewhere are dangerous places. Workers can suffer falls, crush injuries, electric shock, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and injuries involving heavy machinery and vehicles.
A 2018 report in Business Insider listed construction laboring as the 13th most dangerous job in the United States and first-line supervisors on construction sites as having the 9th most dangerous job.
There are many inherent dangers at construction sites. Injured construction workers may claim workers’ compensation. However, building sites can be poorly run and managed, leaving owners and management contractors liable in personal injury lawsuits over injured Georgia construction workers.
The most common dangers on building sites include:
The Occupational Health Safety Administration (OHSA) cites falls as the leading cause of construction site accidents. Of 991 fatal construction site accidents in 2016, 370 were falls to a lower level.
Falls are among the most common safety violations cited in construction accidents. A study by the Center for Construction Research and Training found 42 percent of fatal construction site accidents studied were falls. Of the workers who lost their lives, 54 percent lacked access to a personal fall arrest system such as a safety harness. The study found 23 percent had access to systems but did not use them.
Dangers on construction sites in Georgia include incorrectly constructed scaffolding and slippery surfaces that can cause falls.
One of the most frequent building site violations encountered by OSHA is a failure to fully plank the platform of a scaffolding.
2 Communication issues
Employers and building site managers should have meticulous procedures to ensure a safe working environment. Effective communication is vital at building sites. Workers should know what protective clothing to wear and when they risk coming into contact with dangerous chemicals. A breakdown in communication can lead to accidents and construction worker injuries.
3 Hazardous Electrical Systems
Many building sites require the setting up of temporary electrical systems. If wires are exposed or the system is improperly grounded, workers can suffer electric shocks or electrocution.
Construction workers face extreme hazards from exposed live wires, insulation breaks, and a failure to ground systems.
4 Slips and Trips
Construction sites are hectic places. There are many moving parts and trip hazards such as sand, gravel and slippery surfaces. Many construction sites have holes in the ground and large amounts of material. Although falls from heights are the most deadly types of construction site accident, many workers are injured in falls and slips at fall level.
5 Vehicles and Other Moving Objects
Some of the heaviest pieces of machinery on building sites pose a major hazard to workers. Crane operators require specialist knowledge, but some site managers and owners fail to provide adequate training to workers. Building site workers have been crushed on platforms and run over by heavy dump trucks. The types of vehicles found on construction sites have many blind spots.
6 Excessive noise
Buildings sites are noisy places. However, extreme and repetitive noise can damage the ears of workers and cause hearing problems.
Loud noises can also be a distraction that causes accidents. Although many workers use earplugs, they do not offer total protection against loud noise.
7 Repetitive injuries
Some construction workers suffer serious injuries from the use of power tools on building sites. Hand-arm vibration syndrome is a painful industrial disease of the nerves, blood vessels, and joints. It can be caused by the prolonged use of vibrating power tools and ground working equipment. This industrial disease often figures in compensation claims by former construction workers who worked for years with little protection, badly maintained equipment or the wrong equipment.
8 Dangerous chemicals
Many hazardous substances and chemicals are found on construction sites. They include solvents, mold, dust and asbestos. Exposure to these chemicals can cause respiratory problems, cancer, and death. Building site workers must be provided with masks and rules and protocols must be followed for dealing with dangerous materials like asbestos.
If you or a family member has been hurt in an industrial accident or on a construction site, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Contact our Georgia construction site injury lawyers at (404) 913-1529.