Working in the construction industry is a highly dangerous occupation. Statistics maintained by the Bureau of Labor indicate that in 2010, more than 770 individuals lost their lives in construction site accidents in the US. This number represents nearly one in all five on the job accident-associated deaths that year. In addition, approximately four out of every 100 workers on a construction site suffer some type of non-fatal injury on the job every year. In the event of a construction accident in RI, please contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer.
Hazardous Risks causing injury
The high numbers of serious accidents in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations reflect the potential risk of working in a construction environment. This is because workers are surrounded by heavy machinery, complex tools, heavy building materials and open hazards on a daily basis. The most common types of construction accidents involve:
• Falling from a High Area – The job requirements of many construction workers is to perform their duties at extreme heights including on ladders and scaffolding, on rooftops or at opened windows. Falling from scaffolding or other high area is the third leading cause of construction site death occurring every year.
• Slip and Falls – Construction workers perform their duties around uneven holes in open ground and can easily slip and fall from the many construction site hazards including stacks of material and tools that produce dangerous areas.
• Falling Objects, Materials or Debris – Construction sites where workers perform their duties on multiple levels employees expose others to falling beams, building materials or tools that can easily strike workers below.
• Explosions and Fires – Opened electrical systems, leaking gas, unfinished piping and other conditions on the job site can expose workers to explosions and fires that tend to be common occurrences at many construction site locations.
• Machinery Accident – Heavy machinery is often required on most construction sites including bulldozers, cranes, nail guns and jackhammers. Any mishap, mistake or error can cause a dangerous accident that injures or kills the worker.
• Overexertion – Construction work usually requires hard labor under the most extreme weather conditions of excessive humidity or heat, which can make an overly exerted worker sick or cause their death by heatstroke.
• Struck by a Vehicle – Trucks, cars and heavy machinery are all part of a construction area environment. Any distraction by the driver or construction worker in a heavily congested area can easily cause a pedestrian/worker accident with catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
• Capture Accident – A construction worker can easily become caught in between materials, objects and machinery. Capture accidents take the lives of many construction workers every year.
• Trench Collapse – Digging a trench is often a necessary component to laying pipe, installing sewer lines or repairing underground utilities. When the trench collapses, the construction worker can become buried in the dirt and debris and be seriously injured or killed from the event.
• Electrocution – A construction site by its very nature is a work in progress where workers are exposed to live power lines, wiring and opened electrical systems. Shock or electrocution is often the result of coming into contact with live electricity unexpectedly.
Construction sites can be dangerous places, and accidents can result in death or serious injury. These accidents can occur due to various factors, including human error, equipment failure, or environmental conditions. Here are some common types of construction accidents that can lead to fatalities or serious injuries:
- Falls: Falls from heights are a leading cause of construction site fatalities. Workers may fall from scaffolding, ladders, roofs, or other elevated surfaces.
- Struck-by Accidents: Workers can be struck by heavy equipment, vehicles, falling objects, or construction materials.
- Caught-In/Between Accidents: These accidents occur when a worker is caught, crushed, or trapped between two objects or in equipment, such as trenches or machinery.
- Electrocution: Construction sites often have electrical hazards, and contact with live wires or faulty equipment can lead to electrocution.
- Fire and Explosions: Fires and explosions can result from mishandling flammable materials, electrical faults, or gas leaks.
- Machinery Accidents: Workers can be injured or killed by heavy machinery, such as cranes, bulldozers, and excavators, due to equipment malfunctions or operator errors.
- Welding Accidents: Welding can lead to burns and eye injuries if safety precautions, such as wearing proper protective gear, are not followed.
- Trench Collapses: Workers in trenches can be buried or trapped when the sides of the trench collapse. This can lead to suffocation or crushing injuries.
- Scaffold Collapses: Scaffold failures can cause workers to fall or be crushed, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
- Chemical Exposure: Exposure to hazardous chemicals or toxic substances can lead to respiratory problems, burns, or other serious health issues.
- Overexertion and Strain: Injuries can also occur from overexertion, lifting heavy objects, or repetitive motion, leading to musculoskeletal disorders.
- Structural Failures: Building collapses or structural failures can result in fatalities and severe injuries.
- Confined Space Accidents: Working in confined spaces can be dangerous, with the risk of asphyxiation, toxic gas exposure, or entrapment.
- Asphyxiation: Workers can be asphyxiated by a lack of oxygen in confined spaces, such as underground tunnels or pits.
- Transportation Accidents: Accidents involving construction vehicles or transportation to and from the construction site can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
- Inadequate Safety Measures: Inadequate safety training and measures can lead to various accidents, as workers may not be properly equipped or informed about the risks involved.
- Human Error: Mistakes made by workers, such as improper use of tools or equipment, can result in accidents with severe consequences.
- Weather-Related Accidents: Severe weather conditions, such as storms, high winds, or extreme temperatures, can contribute to accidents on construction sites.
Preventing these accidents and ensuring worker safety is a top priority in the construction industry. Employers must provide appropriate safety training, equipment, and maintain a culture of safety to mitigate the risks associated with these types of accidents. Workers also have a responsibility to follow safety guidelines and report unsafe conditions or practices.
Consequences of a Construction Site Accident
In many incidences, a construction worker in Rhode Island believes that the amount of recompense they receive will be limited to workers’ compensation for an on-the-job injury. However, skilled RI personal injury lawyers, Rhode Island product liability attorneys or Rhode Island construction accident lawyers can evaluate a case and determine every party responsible for the RI accident which might include third parties like other subcontractors, developers, tool manufacturers, machinery manufacturers, maintenance companies or others who might also be at fault and required to pay compensation to the victim.
Experiencing an injury on a construction site can affect the likelihood, health and well-being of the worker and the worker’s family as well. Many job site injuries caused massive medical bills and ongoing treatment, surgeries and rehabilitation. When injured worker cannot return to work the loss of income and earning capacity can wreak financial devastation on the entire family. Because of that, many victims of a construction site accident will hire an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in seeking and obtaining financial recovery from every party responsible for the injury. Reputable personal injury law firms in RI or a Rhode Island construction accident attorney accepts these types of cases on contingency so there is no need to pay an upfront fee or retainer. If you have a Rhode Island workers compensation claim, Slepkow Slepkow & Associates inc. will refer you to one of the best workers comp lawyers in RI.
Working on a construction site can often involve heavy lifting, working with large machinery, and in general, fast-paced hard work. Unfortunately, a variety of injuries can occur when working in the construction field. The following are some of the most common types of work related construction injuries caused by a construction accident.
Most of the time, construction work takes place above ground level, creating situations in which falls could occur. Workers are often on ladders, roofs, and scaffolds, making falls and injuries from falls one of the most common types of work related injuries. Falls can result in a variety of specific injuries such as severe cuts and broken / fractured bones. Spinal cord injuries can also happen.
- “42 percent (325) of the fatalities involved falls.
- 54 percent of the workers killed had no access to a personal fall arrest system, and 23 percent had access to a PFAS but did not use it.
- Most of the workers with no access to PFAS worked for residential building contractors and contractors in the roofing, siding and sheet metal sectors.
- 107 of the 325 falls were from 30 feet or higher.
- 20 percent of the 768 deaths occurred in the victims’ first two months on the job.” Safety and Health Magazine
2. Burns Injury requiring a RI workers compensation attorney
Burns are a major type of injury suffered by construction workers due to the high incidence of explosions and fires on building sites. Dangerous chemicals are many times used on these work sites, which contributes to the increased possibility of fires and explosions occurring. Sometimes simply handling different types of chemicals can cause burns on exposed skin.
- “Between 1992 and 1999, 1,189 fatal thermal burns occurred in the workplace (0.11 deaths/100,000 workers per year)
- “between 1992-1999 the construction industry made up 13.5% of all occupational burn fatalities” Kraft Davies lawyers
The Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation, Volume 23, Issue 5, 1 September 2002, Pages 305–310,Published: 01 September 2002. Also see:
3. Head Injuries and construction accident
There’s a reason it’s usually required for anyone in a construction zone to wear a hard hat. Even when a worker is wearing the appropriate head gear, large objects falling can strike the head and cause serious injuries. Concussions, traumatic brain injury and even more serious long-term brain injuries can result from head injuries in Rhode Island.
- “Workers in small construction companies (<20 employees) were more than 2.5 times more likely than those in larger companies (≥100 employees) to die from a TBI.
- Males were 7 times more likely than females to die from a TBI.
- Older workers (≥65 years) were almost 4 times more likely than younger workers (25–34 years) to have a fatal TBI.
- The TBI fatality rate was significantly higher for foreign-born than for native-born workers.
- Falls, especially from roofs, ladders, and scaffolds, led to >50% of fatal work-related TBIs.
- Structural iron and steel workers and roofers had the highest fatal TBI rate, and TBIs related to falls caused most of their deaths.” CDC blog
4. Hearing Loss
The noise level on many construction sites can be extremely loud. Large machinery, jackhammers, and drills can cause the noise to remain at a level that can permanently damage an individual’s hearing. This type of hearing loss can take place gradually and may not be noticeable for several years. Falling objects that strike that side of the head can even contribute to hearing loss.
5. Heat Stroke
Construction workers are outside year-round in almost all weather conditions. Exposure to the sun coupled with overexertion can sometimes lead to heat stroke. Some symptoms include becoming lightheaded and experiencing nausea. It’s important to seek medical attention before heat stroke becomes more serious. If left untreated it can lead to kidney, heart, and brain damage, and can even cause death. Injuries on work sites in Rhode Island and Massachusetts (MA) can sometimes leave a worker with long-term disabilities. In these cases consulting a Rhode Island construction accident attorney or a RI workers compensation lawyer may be recommended to receive adequate compensation for injuries received and the loss of potential income. Rhode Island personal injury lawyer David Slepkow can help you get the compensation and justice you are entitled to.
Construction accident in RI
If you were injured in the scope of employment, you should contact a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer. A RI workers compensation attorney can help you get the compensation you are entitled through a RI workers comp claim. If you were injured in the scope of employment in Massachusetts then you should contact a MA construction accident lawyer or Massachusetts workers compensation attorneys. OSHA reports: “Out of 4,386 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2014, 899 or 20.5% were in construction-that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (57.6%) the construction worker deaths in 2014, BLS reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 518 workers’ lives in America every year.
- Falls — 359 out of 899 total deaths in construction in CY 2014 (39.9%)
- Electrocutions – 74 (8.2%)
- Struck by Object – 73 (8.1%)
- Caught-in/between – 12 (1.3%)” https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
If you were working and were injured by a third party as a result of the negligence of a third party (not your employer) then you may also have a third party claim for negligence as well as a workers comp cause of action. This includes Providence medical malpractice claims as well as product liability causes of action in RI. Many construction accident victims are seeking reliable information about recent construction accidents 2018 and recent construction accidents in 2019. The starting point concerning any construction accident lawsuit in RI is getting a copy of the construction accident report and any police or ambulance report. Also getting media accounts of the accident by searching “construction accident Providence today” or “ri construction accident today.”
Slepkow Slepkow and Associates, Inc.
At Slepkow, Slepkow & Associates, Inc. we review and help clients with construction accidents in Rhode Island. RI lawyer David Slepkow was honored to be voted by Rhode Island residents as a 2018 Providence Journal Readers’ choice award recipient, third place. The law firm of Slepkow Slepkow & Associates, Inc. was also a third place finalist in the 2018 Providence Journal Reader’s choice awards. Please call David Slepkow at 401-437-1100.
Construction sites are dangerous places to make a living in the United States. There were 4370 worker deaths in the in the United States in the 2015 calendar year. United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 21.4 percent of the fatalities among United States workers were construction workers. Id. It is troubling that one in five worker fatalities in America in 2015 took place in the construction industry. If you were injured in a construction accident in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, contact a construction accident lawyer in RI. A top construction accident attorney at a Providence negligence law firm can help an injured victim get the compensation that he or she is entitled to.
Causes of Industrial accidents
Construction sites can be one of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States . Certain mining and agricultural working environments are also extremely hazardous and dangerous. If you were injured in a construction site accident in Rhode Island then it is crucial that you retain a top Rhode Island construction accident lawyer who is also one of the best Rhode Island personal injury lawyers. A RI construction accident attorney will fight the insurance company to help you get the compensation that you are entitled. In most cases a RI injury claim is also a RI workers compensation cause of action. If you were injured in the course of your employment, contact a top Rhode Island workers compensation attorney.
The “Fatal four”, common types of deadly construction accidents
According to OSHA the most common fatal accidents in the construction industry are set forth below:
- “Falls — 364 out of 937 total deaths in construction in CY 2015 (38.8%)
- Struck by Object – 90 (9.6%)
- Electrocutions – 81 (8.6%)
- Caught-in/between* – 67 (7.2%)
(*This category includes construction workers killed when caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material)” OSHA
Different types of construction accidents that occur
- collapsing trench
- scaffolding accidents, scaffolding collapse and scaffolding falls
- Industrial and construction related accidents involving electrical shock (“A total of 42,882 occupational fatalities occurred from all causes and 1,738 of those were due to contact with electric current. The construction industry had the highest number of electrical fatalities (849), followed by professional and business services (208), trade, transportation, and utilities (182), natural resources and mining (154), and manufacturing (137). Just five occupations in the construction trades – electricians, construction laborers, roofers, painters, and carpenters – experienced more than 32% of all electrical fatalities, electrical power line installers and repairers about 8%, and tree trimmers about 5%.” The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) http://www.esfi.org/workplace-injury-and-fatality-statistics
- improper or defective construction equipment
- Equipment malfunction or equipment failure
- Fall from a elevated platform
- Slip and fall or trip and fall
- Falling objects such as equipment, tools, construction debris
What types of injuries could be caused by a construction accident
- Fractures (broken) bones
- Traumatic Brian injury (tbi)
- leg, foot, ankle injuries
- knee injuries
- scarring, lacerations and burn injuries
- arm, hand or elbow injuries
- eye, nose or throat injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
If you were injured in a construction accident in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations , you need to retain a RI personal injury attorney with extensive experience as a Rhode Island construction accident attorney.
- “The cause of the failures of bridges Nos. 1 and 2 was the structural design flaw in that the glulam girders were severely notched at each end to facilitate end connections. The notches under the application of a full dead load resulted in the formation of horizontal cracks, eventually leading to the catastrophic failures.
- It is unfortunate that a number of consultants participating in the project who reviewed and commented on the structural design during the course of the project either did not notice the adverse impact of the notches or neglected the opportunity to raise the detrimental characteristics of the notches with the structural engineer.
- The notches were not in compliance with the applicable ANSI/AF&PA NDS-2005 standard.
- The consultants/contractors failed in their professional responsibility to share their knowledge and expertise with the structural engineer in regard to the presence of notches. These professionals included Structurlam Products LP, Skanska USA Building Inc., and Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
- The bridges otherwise were adequately designed.”Investigation of the November 13 and 14, 2014 Collapses of Two Pedestrian Bridges Under Construction at Wake Technical Community College Campus, Raleigh, NC U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration Directorate of Construction April 2015″ OSHA
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The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.