Florida is constantly bustling with new construction and development projects. While these projects provide numerous jobs, the construction workers who complete these projects are often exposed to risk while on the job, as any number of accidents could occur. There is a risk of falling, electrocution, burns, injuries from equipment, and injuries related to working outdoors for long periods of time. Construction is a necessary, but dangerous occupation.
While any number of accidents can occur on a construction site, some injuries are encountered by workers more frequently than others.
Fall Related Injuries
Falls are one of the most commonly experienced injuries on a construction site. Not only are construction workers at risk of suffering a slip and fall, due to wet surfaces, slick surfaces, or debris on the ground, but construction workers also run the risk of tripping on cords, wires, debris, building materials, and any other assortment of things. Trips occur when workers are not paying attention to where they are stepping, but trips can also occur when the worker is carrying something that blocks his or her view of the ground.
Construction workers are also at risk of falling from heights while working on building projects. There are a number of construction projects that require workers to be many feet off of the ground working with heavy equipment. Even with the appropriate safety equipment, such as a safety harness, sometimes this equipment can fail and the worker plummets to the ground sustaining a number of serious injuries.
No matter how serious the fall is, from a 20 foot fall to a small trip over some loose cables, the injuries that are suffered by construction workers can be significant. Common injuries associated with construction site falls include:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains.
- Broken bones or fractures.
- Head injuries, including closed head wounds and traumatic brain injuries.
- Trauma and injuries to the spinal cord.
Burns and other burn related injuries, such as scalding or chemical burns, can happen to construction workers. Some of the equipment construction workers use on a regular basis can generate a lot of heat, and can cause burns if an unprotected portion makes contact with the skin. Exposed or leaky steam pipes, exposed wires or cables with current running through them and hot building materials, such as molten asphalt, can all cause serious burn injuries to workers.
Construction workers also handle a number of corrosive and dangerous chemicals during the course of their work, which if involved in an accident can cause severe burns to a worker, both externally (as in if the caustic substance makes contact with the skin or eyes) and internally (for instance if a caustic substance is accidentally inhaled).
Exposure Related Injuries
Construction crews primarily work outdoors year round, and in the extreme Florida heat and humidity workers can develop injuries due to prolonged exposure to the elements. Workers can develop heat stroke/sunstroke, extreme sunburn, dehydration and the associated symptoms of these exposure related injuries, such as delirium, shock, passing out or blacking out and skin damage. When workers lose consciousness, other serious injuries can occur, especially if the worker is handling dangerous equipment or building materials. While workers may take steps to prevent harm from injuries due to exposure, sometimes these types of conditions creep up on a person and the worker doesn’t even realize that he or she is developing these injuries.
Overexertion injuries happen all too frequently to construction workers. Overexertion injuries can be physical or fatigue related. While many workers know that it is important to not lift loads that are too heavy to handle, sometimes an overexertion injury happens simply by picking up an item or piece of equipment, and twisting the body in just the wrong way. Physical overexertion injuries can also occur after repeatedly performing the same task (i.e., repetitive motion injuries). Overexertion injuries can also happen by accident, or because someone is trying to prevent an accident. For instance, a piece of heavy equipment falls on a worker, and another worker manages to lift the equipment so that the trapped worker can escape, but the worker who lifted the equipment suffers an overexertion injury as a result of helping his colleague.
Fatigue related overexertion can result when a worker is working too hard or has other issues going on in his or her life that puts stress on him or her. These stresses can cause the worker to lose sleep and focus. Being tired or distracted while working on a construction site is immensely dangerous. Fatigue can cause a worker to be unfocused, inattentive, depressed,
Injuries From Equipment
Sometimes the equipment that workers use while on site causes injuries. It isn’t necessarily a matter of the worker using the equipment improperly. Sometimes equipment is faulty, damaged or improperly maintained, which can result in injury to an unsuspecting user. Other times accidents simply occur. Perhaps one worker is not paying attention while using a nail gun and accidentally impales a co-worker with a nail. A miscommunication between workers could result in one suffering an injury as well.
Contact A Florida Construction Worker Injury Attorney
If you have been hurt while working at a construction site, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. You should reach out to an experienced Florida Workers’ Compensation attorney with a history of handling construction site injury claims. Do not delay when it comes to obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injury.