Watch Out For These Common Construction Site Work Injuries

Everything is bigger in Texas — including the construction industry. Nearly a million people are employed in Texas’ $54 billion-per-year construction industry. While construction is an economic powerhouse for the state, it’s also an industry riddled with hazards.

A Worker Defense Project study finds that more construction workers die in our lightly regulated state than in any other state. With 10.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, construction workers in Texas died at more than twice the rate as those in California (the Lone Star State's industry rival) with a rate of 5.2.

The study also finds that 1 in every 5 Texas construction workers will require hospitalization because of injuries on the job.

These cold hard Texas construction industry facts show that our building sites can be brutal. In this article, our Dallas work injury attorneys outline some of the common causes of construction site injuries to help you stay safe on the job.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Falls remain the leading cause of deaths in the construction industry year after year, accounting for more than one-third of fatalities and one-third of non-fatal injuries, according to a report from CPWR (The Center for Construction Training and Research).

And reports from the same organization show that in 2020, more workers died from falls on Texas construction sites than any other state.

Despite the fact that falls consistently rank number one in OSHA’s “Fatal Four” (that’s the list the agency publishes every year of the leading causes of deaths in the construction industry), fall protection is the most violated OSHA standard.

OSHA mandates that all employers must provide training for any employee exposed to a fall hazard. The agency also requires employers to provide fall protection for all employees working at the height of six feet or more by implementing guardrails, personal fall arrest systems, and safety nets.

With more than 76% of construction workers working at heights at least once a month, It’s imperative that contractors follow these safety regulations to keep their employees out of harm’s way.

Whether it’s a slip on a wet walkway or plunge from a scaffold, a fall from any height can result in a number of severe injuries, including:

  • head wounds
  • lacerations
  • bone fractures
  • back injuries

Many of these injuries can put you out of work temporarily or have a life-changing effect on your ability to make a living. If you’ve suffered from a fall on the site, our Dallas work injury attorneys can help you receive compensation for lost income and medical bills. 

Struck-by-Hazards Injuries

Struck-by incidents are one of the leading causes of death among construction workers, and since 1992, they’ve consistently been the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in the industry.

According to OSHA, the four most common struck-by hazards are flying, falling, swinging, or rolling objects. ​​​​​​​These hazards can include everything from falling tools to accidental nail gun discharges to being hit by vehicles or construction equipment.
When workers are struck by a power tool or a roof collapses on them, it can lead to severe head injuries, broken bones, loss of limbs, or instant death.

OSHA requires construction firms to provide employees with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Unfortunately, some of the most cited OSHA violations in construction involve the standards for head protection and eye and face protection.

Electrocution

Construction workers suffer a disproportionate amount of electrical injuries and deaths in the U.S. each year; in fact, researchers found construction workers are approximately four times more likely to be electrocuted than workers in all other industries combined.

During a typical day on the site, it’s common to work around live electrical wires, generators and exposed power lines. Working near these power sources can result in electric shock or electrocution if the exposed wires touch metal, water, or skin.

Burns are the most common result of electrocution, but it can also lead to nerve damage, cardiac arrest, and death.

While electrical hazards are abundant on a construction site, it’s up to the employer to make sure there’s adequate protection in place. Contractors are responsible for complying with OSHA regulations on electrical safety, training employees on how to avoid electrical hazards, and providing PPE.

Failing to provide adequate protection against electrocution risks is not only an OSHA violation; it’s carelessness with often lethal consequences. Our Dallas work injury attorneys can gather evidence of negligence and help you or your loved ones file a claim against any unscrupulous contractor.

Overexposure to Heat

Construction workers are required to work year-round and often in non-climate-controlled spaces, regardless of how hot it is outside. Because of this, construction workers are particularly prone to experiencing heat stroke or heat stress.

Data from the CDC shows that between 1992 and 2016, 285 construction workers died from heat-related causes, representing more than a third of U.S. heat-related deaths across all professions.
Heatstroke is a potentially fatal form of heat injury. Still, even before the body reaches that point, heat exposure can lead to seemingly unrelated, life-threatening accidents, like falling off a ladder or mishandling machinery. That’s because heat affects cognitive function, too.

OSHA is supposed to protect workers from health hazards, but the agency has no heat-related requirements, including water and shade breaks.

Because there are no written rules in place, construction companies are free to use their own judgment when balancing heat hazards and worker safety. However, it is their responsibility to provide a safe workplace, and they will likely receive a fine from OSHA if it’s found that an employee suffered an injury due to heat exposure.

Injured on the Site? Get Help From Dallas Work Injury Attorneys

Texas construction workers should be able to go to their job and return home with their lives and limbs intact.

But in a state that has no occupational safety inspection agency, and no workers’ compensation requirements, many construction workers pay dearly for their labor.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death on a construction site, contact the experienced Dallas work injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Tim O’ Hare. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the process of recovery and hold negligent companies accountable. Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about your legal rights.