7 Common Construction Injuries
The dangers of construction worksites are well known. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration produces a work zone hazards workbook, designed to discuss these hazards and provide people in these environments with increased safety. Despite these efforts, accidents continue to occur on a regular basis. The most common construction injuries include:
1. Broken Bones And Fractures
Fractures can occur in either bone or cartilage. They’re also extremely common: the average human suffers not one but two fractures during their lifetime. Generally, fractures are classified into four categories, depending upon the extent of the break.
- Displaced – the bone has snapped fully and is now in two or more parts whose ends are no longer in line
- Non-Displaced – the bone has snapped fully into two or more parts but these pieces are still aligned
- Open – the bone has broken and protrudes through the skin
- Closed – the bone has broken but did not puncture the skin
2. Neck And Spinal Injuries
These injuries can cause numbness, weakness, and difficulty moving, or full paralysis and shock. The spinal cord and neck hold important nerves that carry messages back and forth between the body and brain, so damage sustained to this area is often debilitating.
Someone suffering from paralysis after an injury can experience either temporary or permanent damage. Paralysis is generally categorized into two main classifications:
- Paraplegia – affects both legs and the lower half of an individual’s body
- Quadriplegia – affects both legs and both arms, and therefore both the upper and lower halves of an individual’s body
3. Muscle Or Ligament Strains And Sprains
Although many are unaware of it, there is a specific difference between a strain and a sprain. A strain is a stretch or tear within a muscle or tendon, while a sprain refers to a tear or stretch within a ligament. The most common injury in these categories is a sprained ankle. About 25,000 people sprain their ankles every day.
Those working on job sites and using repetitive motions or participating in frequent and heavy lifting are at an increased risk for both sprains and strains. If a sprain or strain is severe enough, it can render the victim incapable of using the injured area for quite some time.
4. Loss Of Sight Or Hearing
On the job, loud sounds, explosions, chemicals, debris, head injuries, and falls are all considered extremely hazardous to a worker’s ability to hear and see well. Thousands of workers are blinded annually due to injuries sustained on the job.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), reports that an estimated 10 million workers across the U.S. have suffered permanent hearing loss because of their exposure to loud work sites.
5. Head Or Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a severe injury to the head that moves or jolts the brain.
As reported by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), head and brain injuries are among the leading causes of both disability and death. Traumatic brain injuries are said to contribute to about 30% of all deaths.
Over the years 2006-2010, falls were the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries, accounting for around 40% of occurrences. On construction sites, workers have an increased danger for head injuries due to falling debris.
These high-impact hits to the head can cause damage to the skull, or skull damage and bleeding / swelling of the brain. Intense shaking can also cause brain injuries. If you have suffered bruising or bleeding to the brain tissue directly under the injury site, this is called a contusion.
6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
According to The Mayo Clinic, post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition which is triggered by an event that has filled someone with terror. Individuals suffering from PTSD experience significant after-effects after suffering from a trauma, and those effects tend to become more severe for some time and last several months or years.
Common PTSD Symptoms
- Flashbacks or repetitive, unshakable thoughts concerning the traumatic event
- Insomnia or nightmares about the traumatic event
- Trouble with moments of uncontrollable anxiety
Burns can be caused by many different sources and result in a wide range of injuries, from mild to severe. Depending on the severity of the burn, it can be classified into one of three main categories, termed first degree, second degree, and third degree.
While first degree burns impact only the outer layer of an individual’s skin (or epidermis), a third degree burn classification indicates that all layers of skin have suffered significant damage. Third degree burns have also been known to extend into the subcutaneous body tissue and even the bloodstream. There are three main types of burns:
- Thermal burns – these burns are caused by exposure to heat. In daily life, a sunburn would fall under this category. In the workplace, these burns can occur after exposure to fire, boiling liquids and steam, hot machinery, and more.
- Electrical Burns – these burns occur because of exposure to electrical currents. Electrical currents are able to flow through wires, outlets, machinery, or water, and can come from lightning as well.
- Chemical Burns – these burns come from synthetic and corrosive chemicals that are able to penetrate and burn any skin they come into contact with.
How Can I Recover Compensation For My Construction Injury?
If you’ve been injured in a construction work accident, you deserve financial compensation for injury-related damages. Depending on the circumstances of your job, you could qualify for a personal injury lawsuit, workers compensation, or both. At Lipsig Queens, our work injury lawyers can help you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.