Construction is one of the most dangerous industries. Across all of NYC, one of every five worker deaths occurs in the construction industry. Specifically, in 2015, New York City’s Building Department (NYBD) recorded eight fatal construction-related accidents just in 2015, the highest it has been since the 2008 boom. Every day, construction workers subject themselves to the dangers of heights, heavy machinery, electricity, and power tools. Anyone of these elements can lead to injury or death.
Even when companies and employees engage in safe practices, accidents can still occur. Learn more about how you can protect yourself and what to do if you are a victim of a construction accident.
Construction Best Practices
Nearly 64 percent of construction accidents are caused by the Fatal Four. The Fatal Four refers to the top four causes of accidents – falls, electrocutions, being caught between objects, and being struck by objects. Some of the ways to prevent these accidents from occurring include the following:
- Follow your safety program. Each employer should have a safety program in place. This program should include training and specific policies and procedures that must be followed. You can stay safe in other ways by refraining from drugs and alcohol while working and being aware of potential hazards.
- Wear protective gear. Your employer should provide personal protective equipment (PPE). Be sure to wear hard hats, boots, gloves, and safety glasses to prevent injuries.
- Know how to use the equipment. Do not operate heavy machinery or even power tools unless you know how to use them properly. Improper use can cause serious injuries and even death, so when in doubt, seek assistance from your supervisor or consult with the manual.
- Drive defensively. Construction sites often use dump trucks, tractors, and other huge vehicles. Sometimes drivers do not see other workers. To avoid accidents, use daytime running lights. Drivers should turn their head and look instead of relying solely on mirrors. When backing up, it is a good idea to have a spotter on hand to ensure that they will not hit a person or object. The driver should not be engaged in any distractions while driving, such as talking on the phone, eating, or texting.
- Keep the site clean. Debris and tools can cause slip and fall injuries. Put tools and materials away when not in use to avoid serious accidents.
- Prevent fatigue. Too much sun exposure and a lack of hydration can both cause fatigue. This can cause employees to lack concentration and focus, making accidents more likely to occur. Employers should require workers to take frequent breaks. Even short breaks can help employees hydrate, stretch, and stay out of the sun.
- Report dangerous conditions. If you see any hazards in the workplace, let your employer know right away. This may include spills, a fall hazard, broken equipment or a co-worker using a tool improperly. By reporting the situation, you can prevent future accidents. If you have reported a situation but your employer has done nothing to remedy it, contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
How to Make an Accident Report in Construction
If you are injured in a construction accident, your priority is your health. Be sure to seek medical help right away. Once you receive treatment, file a report with your employer. The more details you include, the better. Try to remember as much as you can about how the accident occurred.
If the accident was caused by you or your employer, you should be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, these benefits may not cover all the injuries you may have suffered. In a construction accident, there are often various entities involved. There may be contractors, subcontractors, architects, manufacturers and distributors involved. Multiple parties may be held liable for your injuries. Therefore, seeking legal help may be in your best interest. It can maximize your financial recovery while you focus on your physical recovery.
Get Legal Help from a Brooklyn Construction Accident Lawyer
Construction accidents can occur at any time, even when safety techniques are in place. Due to the various elements involved, construction site accidents can lead to serious, life-altering injuries. Many workers have even been killed in such incidents.
Do not handle such a case on your own. Construction accident claims can be complex, given the numerous entities involved. You may be entitled to more compensation than you think. Get the financial recovery you deserve by seeking legal help. The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum can assess your case and help determine the liable parties. To schedule a consultation, call our Brooklyn office today at (718) 237-5586.