Construction Equipment: Dangers to Workers

A construction site is a dangerous place to work.  In addition to risks related to falls, hazardous materials, and multiple projects going on in one space, there is a serious challenge to worker safety due to the number of machines and heavy pieces of equipment that are generally on the move simultaneously during the workday.

Perhaps this is why the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that there are more construction site fatalities—nearly 1,000 annually—than in any other employment sector. Employers are required to provide a safe environment for their workers, despite hazards.  They must mitigate potential hazards in a variety of ways. Sometimes, unfortunately, they fail to do so. If you are reeling after the injury or death of a loved one due to a construction site incident, a local Long Island personal injury attorney may be able to help.

Issues Related to Machinery and Equipment

In addition to the sheer size of so much of the equipment on construction sites, a number of factors contribute to accidents:

  • Poor or incomplete training
  • Improper use
  • Insufficient protocols related to safety
  • Inability to recognize hazards and respond appropriately
  • Impaired operators
  • Poor supervision and accountability

Machine Guarding

All machinery has a lot of moving parts.  According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), when safeguards are not in place, workers are exposed to the possibility of a number of injuries related to those parts, including:

  • Crushed digits and limbs
  • Amputations
  • Serious burns
  • Blindness

Most Dangerous Equipment

A number of pieces of heavy equipment are linked to serious injuries and fatalities.  The most dangerous machines include:

  • Cranes:  The majority of construction-related fatalities involve cranes.  Operators are not the primary victims of accidents, however. Collapsing machines and dropped loads impact bystanders and fellow workers most often.
  • Bulldozers:  The heftiest and most powerful pieces of equipment, bulldozers are connected to four in 10 fatalities in the construction industry.  Deaths occur as a result of crushing accidents, rollovers, and collisions.
  • Dump Trucks:  The hazards of dump trucks are multiple.  The actual size of these vehicles makes maneuvering cumbersome, and visibility may be difficult.  Moreover, problems with hydraulics or electrical systems can lead to accidents.
  • Backhoes:  This piece of equipment has the potential to cause injuries from both the front shovel and the back digging bucket.  Individuals have been known to get run over, sideswiped, or injured by the load in the bucket.
  • Excavators:  A machine used for mining, lifting, demolition, and moving materials, the excavator can be involved in collisions with workers, electrocution incidents, hydraulics issues, and falling-over accidents.

Following a Long Island Accident

If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury or death on a construction site, the experienced and aggressive lawyers at the Falkowitz Law Firm can help.  Get Gary on your team by calling 844-GET-GARY to schedule a confidential consultation in our Garden City Office.

Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

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