Construction, which includes the civil engineering, building, demolition, and maintenance industries, is among the world’s largest industrial sectors. A construction worker builds, repairs, maintains, renovates, and demolishes buildings, roads, bridges, and more. At work, they face a wide range of risks. In fact, construction continues to be the most dangerous industry in Florida.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private construction sector had the most fatalities among all industries in Florida in 2019. However, why is this the case? There are numerous reasons why working in Florida’s construction industry is risky. This article will be discussing some of them, so keep reading.
Working at Height
Construction is inherently dangerous because of all the high places workers have to go. In fact, falling is the leading cause of construction worker fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Workers in the construction industry must be alert to the dangers of falling from scaffolding, ladders, or rooftops and being injured or killed as a result of defective machinery.
Compared to other forms of injuries, those resulting from a fall have a higher chance of becoming fatal. It is more likely that a fall injury will impact the entire body and its vital organs than injuries from overexertion, a falling object, or a machine or vehicle accident would be.
The odds of surviving a fall from over 30 feet are incredibly slim, but even a six-foot fall can be fatal if it hits the wrong surface or body part. No matter how high they are, falls can cause serious injury to the worker’s spine, head, neck, or even death.
Being Struck by or Caught in Objects
Compared to other types of occupations, construction workers put in significantly greater hours of manual labor. In addition, they are more likely to work with heavier, potentially dangerous equipment. As a result, it’s more likely that they’ll get injured by getting caught in equipment or machinery or being struck by something moving or falling. Getting hit by an object while on the job is another leading cause of death in the construction industry. Here are some of the common causes of struck-by accidents in construction:
- Vehicles such as trucks, as well as other heavy machinery like cranes
- Objects that are falling or flying, such as flying particles or tools
- Walls made of concrete or masonry that are being built
When workers become caught in objects, they can die from crushing injuries, not the impact. These types of accidents occur when a person is caught, squeezed, or compressed between two or more things, such as power tools or a machine’s moving parts.
In construction, electrocution is the third most common cause of death among the so-called “Fatal Four” hazards. As a result of being exposed to deadly levels of electric power, electrocutions are fatalities caused by electric shock.
Incorrect usage of extension cords, contact with electrified objects, and exposure to live power lines are all common causes of electrocutions. De-energizing or keeping a safe distance from electric wires are the simplest ways to avoid electrocution.
Exposure to Harmful Dust
When working in the construction industry, it’s crucial to be aware of the dangers of asbestos. Asbestos dust inhalation can be fatal. However, three other types of dust can be deadly:
Respiratory problems and even lung cancer can be exacerbated by exposure to silica dust, which can leave the lungs scarred. When dealing with materials like bricks, tiles, granite, and concrete, be on the lookout for this type of dust.
If inhaled daily, wood dust is well-known to trigger asthma attacks and even nose cancer. Those working with hardwood and softwood must adhere to stringent exposure limitations as a result.
While not as hazardous as other kinds of dust, Gypsum dust can nonetheless aggravate asthma, sinusitis, and other lung problems. Plasterboard, limestone, and marble often contain gypsum dust.
Construction work typically involves performing tasks that require a lot of physical exertion or are detrimental to posture. This often leads to overexertion injuries like musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs cover a wide range of injuries and conditions affecting the joints, muscles, and connective tissue throughout the body, including the back.
It is estimated that overexertion is responsible for about 24% of all construction accident injuries across the United States. Overexertion injuries aren’t deliberate; the main reasons for these injuries are ingrained into the worker’s specified tools and work techniques.
Working in the construction industry is inherently risky. Countless workers are seriously or fatally injured every year. In this article, we’ve discussed some of the reasons that make the construction industry so dangerous in Florida. We sincerely hope that the information we’ve provided might be of use to people who have been injured in similar incidents.
If you’ve sustained a construction accident injury, hiring a Florida construction accident lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.