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What Are the Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents in New York?

Posted in Construction Accidents on January 27, 2022

What Are the Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents in New York?

Construction is dangerous work. The construction industry is one of the fields with the highest numbers of workplace injuries and deaths. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,034 construction workers died from work-related injuries in 2020. Countless others suffered from injuries on the job.

OSHA has identified the “big four” construction site hazards, which represent the types of construction accidents with the highest fatality rates. New York construction workers should take note to avoid a serious injury or death.

  • Falls

The CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of construction accident injuries. They account for about 36% of construction accident deaths.

Common reasons for falls include:

  • Improperly constructed scaffolding
  • Defective ladders
  • Unmarked edges or floor holes
  • Unprotected elevator shafts
  • Inclement weather

Construction workers may fall from one building level down to another. However, workers may also fall from scaffolding, a ladder, or a roof.

  • Struck-By Incidents

The second leading cause of fatal construction accidents is “struck-by” incidents. These are also a leading cause of non-fatal accidents, according to the CDC.

A struck-by incident is any injury in which a moving object hits a worker.

Struck-by incidents can be caused by moving vehicles, equipment, and falling objects. Falling objects account for the majority of struck-by incidents, with injuries most commonly caused by building materials, hand tools, and debris.

  • Electrocution

Electrocution is the third most common cause of construction fatalities. A construction site poses many electrical hazards between power tools, heavy equipment, and ongoing electrical work.

The following circumstances may cause electrocution:

Unsafe Tools and Equipment

One source of electrocution on a job site is the equipment used by the workers. When these tools are not properly used and maintained, they can pose serious safety hazards.

Tool and equipment-related injuries are often caused by:

  • Power tools with an improperly grounded plug
  • Overloaded extension cords
  • Frayed or damaged wires

Following established safety protocols and regularly checking equipment for problems can help to cut down on electrocutions linked to construction tools.

Electrical Wiring

Many construction projects involve the installation of wiring. Common site-based electrical issues include:

  • Underground power lines hit while digging
  • Circuits without fuses or breakers
  • Lack of a ground fault circuit interrupter
  • Improper wiring polarity
  • Improperly insulated overhead power lines

These risks are made worse in inclement weather. Water increases the danger of electrocution because it acts as a conductor, sending a greater electrical charge into the body than would otherwise be received.

When precipitation makes a construction site wet, the water can interact dangerously with electrical hazards.

  • Caught-In Accidents

“Caught-in” accidents – also known as “caught-between” accidents – are the fourth leading cause of fatal construction accidents. Caught-in accidents refer to incidents in which a worker becomes stuck between objects.

These accidents can be fatal because a worker’s body can be crushed by heavier objects. Common sources of caught-in injuries include:

  • Machinery with moving parts
  • Mobile machinery
  • Machinery that tips over
  • Collapsed trenches
  • Excavation cave-ins

To reduce the occurrence of caught-in accidents, site managers and workers alike should check that machinery is stable, secure, and used properly.

Trenches and excavation sites should have protective systems in place, like shoring or sloping. Workers should avoid entering trenches that aren’t safely reinforced to protect against collapse or cave-ins.

New York Construction Safety

New York construction workers need to be aware of the most dangerous construction site hazards. Education is the first step in protecting against deaths and serious injuries while on the job at a New York construction site.

If you or a family member were injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation and/or a third-party claim. Contact a New York construction accident lawyer to discuss your options.

Contact Our Construction Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City construction accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #409
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

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