By Pendergast Law on June 24, 2016
Construction sites are intrinsically dangerous, despite worker and employer precautions. Working at places where sharp tools, heavy equipment, and being at tall heights are common can put workers into dangerous situations. Knowing your rights as a worker can help you recover medical and other costs from injuries sustained at a construction site.
Types of Construction Accidents
According to the Washington Department of Labor & Industries, the most common types of construction accidents that lead to injuries are being caught in, between, or under objects where the body is pinched, squeezed, or crushed by machinery, falls from elevations such as roofs, ladders, or other heights, and falls from the same level such as slipping, tripping, or falling on a flat surface. Other injuries are being struck by or against a stationary object or hit by moving objects. This includes noise injuries to the ear.
Motor vehicle accidents are common that include all types of vehicles. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders that encompass back strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other joint, nerve, and muscle injuries are common. Musculoskeletal injuries of the back, neck, and arms are frequent from overexertion in kneeling, lifting, squatting, gripping, awkward posture, vibrations, and repetitive motions. Spinal cord damage from falls from heights or from improper lifting of heavy loads can occur. The damage can range from pain and stiffness of movement to permanent total or partial paralysis.
Traumatic head and brain injuries are common from falling objects or falls. Burns can come from explosions, hazardous chemicals, or hot machinery. Vision loss from sharp objects and hearing loss from high decibel noises are prevalent as construction accidents. In addition to spinal cord damage, head injuries, and vision or hearing loss, workers also suffer from lacerations, amputations, and crushed or fractured limbs.
Why Seattle Construction Accidents Occur
Construction accidents occur from several reasons such as the employer providing inadequate safety equipment or the use of unsafe tools. Unsafe work sites are a frequent reason for worker injuries. Defective scaffolding collapses account for many construction fall accidents. Scaffolding that is of improper design or faulty assembly can lead to damaging injuries. Other injuries such as fire and electrocution burns from live wires can cause severe, permanent disabilities. A work site that has shortages of protective gear such as body suits, respirators, or safety harnesses can lead to poisoning, thermal, or chemical burns, or falls. Defective power tools add many injuries every year.
Liability for Seattle Construction Accidents
It is the legal responsibility of the employer to provide a safe work site and proper equipment for workers on construction sites. The employer is liable for accidents, unless the worker has been irresponsible such as becoming intoxicated before or during his or her time on the job, or behaving in a manner to endanger others.