When proper safety precautions are not taken, a construction site can be a dangerous place for employees. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that approximately one in five workplace fatalities happen at construction sites. Here, our Seattle construction site injury lawyers highlight five of the most common accidents in the construction industry and explain the steps to take if you are hurt on the job.
An Overview of the Most Common Construction Accidents
Construction site accidents can occur for many reasons. There are state and federal workplace safety regulations in place to help reduce the dangers at construction sites. Nonetheless, construction remains one of the higher risk industries. Here are five of the most commonly reported accidents at construction sites in Washington:
- Accidents from Falls: Falls from heights are among the most frequently reported accidents at construction sites. Construction workers face risks from ladders, scaffolding, cranes, and roof-work. Construction companies have a legal duty to provide adequate fall protection.
- Struck-By Accidents: Another significant risk in the construction industry comes from “struck-by” accidents. This category also covers falling objects. There is plenty of heavy equipment, large objects, and loose debris at construction sites that can pose a safety risk to workers.
- Electrocutions: Occurring when an electric shock passes through the body, an electrocution has the potential to be a catastrophic injury. The American Safety Council reports that nearly 10 percent of fatal accidents at construction sites are caused by electrocution. In most cases, electrocutions occur because adequate safety precautions were not taken.
- Equipment-Related Accidents: At a construction site, there are often many workers using complex, potentially dangerous equipment. Unfortunately, equipment-related accidents remain a serious safety hazard. These accidents can happen for a wide range of different reasons—from a company’s failure to properly train its workers to manufacturing errors during equipment production.
- Motor Vehicle Collisions: There are often vehicles, including large trucks, operating on or immediately around construction sites. Work-related vehicle accidents are a significant risk in all industries, including construction. If you or your loved one was hurt in a construction industry vehicle accident, contact an on-the-job injury attorney in Washington for immediate help.
Four Steps to Take After a Construction Accident in Washington
The construction industry continues to boom in Seattle and throughout Washington State. If you are employed at a construction company, you need to know what to do to protect your legal rights. Here are four steps to take if you were hurt in an accident while working at a construction site:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health always comes first. Seek professional medical attention as soon as possible after a construction site accident. Emergency injuries necessitate emergency care. Non-emergency injuries should be evaluated without delay. You will not be able to bring a claim for compensation if you have not seen a doctor or approved medical provider.
- Report Your Accident to Your Supervisor: Construction site accidents should be reported to your immediate supervisor and/or your employer as soon as possible.
- File for Workers’ Comp Benefits: Injured construction workers should always file for workers’ comp benefits. In Washington, workers’ comp is your exclusive remedy against your employer or coworker. Workers’ comp provides no-fault benefits that cover medical treatment and wage replacement. Additional benefits may be available for more serious accidents.
- Consider a Third-Party Liability Claim: Construction sites are busy places. There are often multiple businesses working on the same site. If a negligent party other than your employer—contractor, subcontractor, property owner, equipment manufacturer, etc.—causes your accident, you have the right to hold them liable through a third-party personal injury claim. You can file both a workers’ comp claim and a third-party liability claim. If you have any questions about filing a third-party liability claim after a construction accident in Washington, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for help.
Call Our Seattle, WA, Construction Accident Lawyers for Immediate Help
At The Walthew Law Firm, our Washington construction accident attorneys have extensive experience handling workers’ comp and third-party claims. If you or your loved one was hurt on a construction site, we can help. Contact us now for a no cost review of your case. With offices in Seattle and Everett, our attorneys handle construction site accident claims all over Washington, including in King County, Mason County, Pierce County, Thurston County, Skagit County, and Kitsap County.