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What are the most common construction injury causes?

Working in the construction industry carries safety and health risks for Pennsylvania employees. Some of the most reported causes of construction-related injuries are falls, being hit with falling objects, equipment incidents and becoming caught in between equipment and fixed structures.

On construction sites, the risk of falling from ladders, scaffolds, roofs, cranes and other structures is just as real for workers as is the risk of falling objects, such as tools or other equipment, hitting them from above. Falling objects are known to cause spinal and brain injuries, even if the construction workers are wearing safety gear. In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that falls contributed to 22 percent of recorded construction injuries. In 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that falls were responsible for 34.6 percent of construction fatalities, while falling objects accounted for 9.8 percent of construction deaths.

The failure or hazard of heavy machinery is also a risk to construction workers, as is the potential of being electrocuted. OSHA reported in 2012 that 8.1 percent of construction-related deaths were electrocutions. There is also a risk of workers becoming trapped in between construction vehicles and concrete or walls. This type of incident was responsible for 1.6 percent of construction fatalities in 2012, according to OSHA figures. Other common causes of injuries on construction sites are explosions and fires, building or trench collapses, and overexertion.

Many construction workers who are injured on the job in Pennsylvania are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. However, when negligence on the part of third parties such as equipment manufacturers is involved, the employees might have other options. To determine the best course of action for their specific situations, consultation with an attorney who is experienced in these matters is advisable.

Source: Findlaw, "Construction Injury Overview", November 03, 2014

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