Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

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construction accident fall

Boston has seen a frightening number of injuries and deaths in construction accidents and falls since March.

Boston has seen a number of workers injured and killed in construction accidents and falls since March. The spotlight is now on workplace safety, but construction accidents – especially those involving multi-story buildings – can also endanger pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at street level.

We have seen these dangers before in Boston. In July 2019, a woman was seriously injured by falling debris while taking a morning walk in the North End. According to news reports, the investigation found she was struck by a railing a roofing company had failed to secure atop a 5-story building nearby.

Another serious accident happened back in 2006, when two workers on an Emerson College project fell 14 floors in a scaffolding accident. The construction platform fell, suddenly hitting and killing a doctor driving by.

As a pedestrian, you may not be aware you are walking past construction work. Not every project has signs or pedestrian protection tunnels. Some projects may be smaller than others, with just a few workers.

Unfortunately, you really have no way of knowing if a construction company is following safety protocols inside or on top of a building. Because of this, it is critical for construction companies to take steps and protect workers and the public.

Timeline: 2022 Construction Accidents in Boston

Worker Dies in Parking Garage Collapse. In March, a construction worker fell nine stories and died after a concrete slab collapsed in the Government Center Parking Garage, according to a NBC Boston report.

Worker Injured in Power Plant. On May 4, a worker was seriously injured under a floor collapse at the former Thomas Edison Power Plant on Summer Street. Nearly 100 firefighters played a role in the massive response, according to news reports. Two other workers escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.

Worker Falls in South End. On May 5, another worker was reportedly injured when he fell 30 feet at a construction site in Boston’s South End.

Truck Driver Killed in Construction Accident. One person was pronounced dead at a construction site in the Seaport District on the morning of June 9th. CBS News reported the victim was driving a truck which had been hauling large pieces of concrete. Another person was reportedly injured.

Construction Companies Have a Responsibility to Use Fall Protection

Under state and federal laws, construction companies are responsible for providing a reasonably safe work environment. Under OSHA guidelines, companies have a responsibility to provide working conditions free of known dangers, to keep floors in a safe condition; and provide workers with the proper equipment and training.

Falls are the leading cause of work-related death on construction sites, according to the CDC.

OSHA specifically requires employers to ensure employees have fall protection.

This applies to all workers, not just construction workers. Fall protection must be at least four feet in general industry, five feet in shipyards and six feet in the construction industry, according to the OSHA website.

Construction workers must have fall protections to support their assignments and machinery, regardless of how high up they are. Employers have a responsibility to provide fall protection for crane operators, just as they do workers on street level, though the tools and approaches will vary.

Depending on the assignment, fall protection may include safety harness and lines, safety nets or stair railings. Guardrails and toe-boards are additional tools to prevent construction site falls and injuries.

By taking these steps, construction companies can protect workers and prevent construction site accidents and injuries. By extension, this helps protect the public and pedestrians passing by as well.

A Responsibility to Protect Workers Against Struck-By Injuries

Struck-by injuries are the second leading cause of fatal injuries among construction workers, according to the CDC.  These injuries occur when a worker is struck by a vehicle, equipment or a falling object.

Construction companies can reduce the risk of struck-by injuries by utilizing barriers to separate different parts of the construction site and to separate the work area from the public.

Free Legal Consultation – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Who Specialize in Construction Accidents

Experience matters when you hire a personal injury lawyer. Breakstone, White & Gluck has over 125 years combined experience successfully obtaining record recoveries for our clients who have been injured by negligence in Massachusetts. We provide aggressive representation to workers, family members and others after construction accidents and premises liability accidents.

To learn more, we invite you to read our past case results for clients and to contact us to learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Construction workers inspecting a construction site

Common construction site accidents.

If you work in a construction zone, you must do your best to be careful because construction site accidents are rampant. According to the OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 20% of job-related deaths occur in the construction industry. On top of that, more construction workers suffer from work-related injuries each year.

This data may not surprise you because it is fairly obvious that a construction zone is extremely hazardous. You have nails, chainsaws, staple guns, cranes, etc. When not properly handled, all of these can result in injuries ranging from minor abrasions and burns to fatal electrocutions or falls. And even with proper care and handling, accidents can still happen.

It is vital to know what these accidents are so you can be aware of the risks when you enter a construction zone. Understanding how these common accidents happen in construction areas can help you mitigate disasters. More importantly, it will give you the presence of mind to act fast when a serious accident occurs.

Fifteen Most Frequent Construction Accidents

Injuries in a construction zone are common because of the many hazardous types of equipment that workers need to boost performance and productivity. In addition, you have live electricity and gravity to contend with, apart from risky tools.

For example, when poorly trained co-workers make one wrong move from the 4th floor, the perilous fall can result in traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, or death. The damage sustained from this kind of workplace accident can be life-altering, depending on the severity of the situation.

Although there are numerous ways for a construction worker to get hurt on the job, you will find many common accidents regularly documented in the emergency room. For example, the top fifteen most frequent construction site accidents are as follows:

Falls From Great Heights

This is the leading accident in a construction area. It should not come as a surprise because it is common for construction workers to perform their duties perched on a high area like scaffoldings, rooftops, ladders, etc. This can result in physical injuries from minor scrapes to serious fractures like spinal cord injuries. The severity usually depends on the height of the fall and where the worker lands. Sometimes, luck also plays a role as some have gone miraculously unscathed.

Falling Debris

Construction workers don a hard hat to prevent head trauma from falling debris. However, this plastic covering can only do so much. When heavy tools, building materials, equipment, pieces of scaffolding, or other supplies fall on a person, it can do severe damage; more so when the object comes from a significant height. It can even result in fatality.

Electric Shocks

It is common to find exposed, live wires in a construction zone. In addition, you will also encounter unfinished electrical systems, incomplete circuit breakers, unfinished receptacles, or downed power lines. On top of that, there are electrical equipment, lighting fixtures, and other power issues to deal with. For these mentioned reasons, construction workers are at risk for electrical shocks or electrocution, resulting in arrhythmia or heart attack.

Burns

A live wire may not cause an electric shock, but it can still create a spark or overheat the system. When this happens, something can explode, and there will be a fire. Hence, construction workers are prone to severe burns.

Slips

Construction sites are often messy. You will encounter tools, equipment, materials, and other debris lying around. As a result, workers often trip on them. Moreover, there can be material spillage like oil, which can be slippery. Slips can be dangerous, resulting in a bone fracture. It can also result in lacerations and abrasions.

Fires or Explosions

When live wires create a spark, it can result in a massive explosion. Similarly, gas leaks can also be fatal. For example, paint thinner is highly flammable. Carbon monoxide is also toxic. The presence of both in an enclosed construction space is deadly. It also does not help that there are many flammable items on a construction site like:

  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • Drywall

Trench Accidents

It is common to find trenches in construction areas. After all, workers need to dig deep to lay down the foundation of any building. However, the massive excavations make the surrounding areas unstable. As a result, the ground could collapse on the workers, resulting in devastating injuries. To make things worse, people can be trapped or buried underneath piles of rubble with no way out.

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