Why Are Florida Construction Accidents So Common?
By Team at Zimmet & Zimmet, In Personal injury
Personal injury lawyers from Zimmet & Zimmet understand the devastating effect a construction accident can have. Unfortunately, it’s not just those working on a construction site that is at risk. Any vendors who deliver supplies, pedestrians passing by, and others are at risk of an accident and injury. If you find yourself in this situation, we are here to help you recover compensation for your situation.
In the past few years, the construction industry in Florida has expanded and grown relentlessly. While that’s good news for the economy and all the people who have steady employment, construction sites are often the scene of catastrophic accidents and even fatalities.
If you are injured, or someone in your family is killed by a construction accident, contact our personal injury attorneys immediately. We will gather evidence related to your case and help ensure the at-fault party is held responsible. Learn more about common causes of construction accidents, probable injuries, and your rights here.
Common Causes of Florida Construction Accidents
In 2019, there were 5,333 work fatalities in the United States. This means someone dies from a work-related injury every 99 minutes. For those working in the private construction industry, fatalities increased by five percent. Unfortunately, this is a trend that will likely continue in the coming years.
Knowing some of the most common causes of construction site accidents is the best way to avoid being a victim.
The top danger on OSHA’s “Fatal Four” list for construction workers in the United States is falling. In fact, this is the leading cause of fatalities on construction sites in Florida and contributes to about 33% of the deaths that occur on the job. The most common fall that occurs in Florida is from roofs. This is closely followed by building girders, scaffoldings, floors, and ladders.
If a construction worker is six or more feet off the ground while working, they need personal fall protection gear to ensure they don’t suffer a catastrophic injury if a fall occurs. OSHA has outlined specific steps to take to help prevent construction site falls in the occupational hazard regulation guidelines.
Another common cause of construction worker fatalities is car accidents. There are several potential causes for these accidents, including:
- Distracted driving
- Improper driver training
- Driving under the influence
The other driver involved in the accident may also share some fault in the accident. Since Florida is a no-fault state for car accidents, injured drivers must file a claim with their auto insurance provider to receive compensation. Suppose the medical costs and damages exceed their policy limits. In that case, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to receive compensation for the remaining of their damages. It’s best to speak to personal injury attorneys to know your legal options.
Construction workers must work with complex and heavy equipment. They also use dangerous materials and tools almost daily. If you come in contact with equipment or objects, they may cause amputations, head injuries like concussions, crush injuries, and cause someone to get caught in a machine. Workers can reduce these hazards when they wear and use the right head protection while using proven safety techniques when equipment is in use.
Dehydration and Heatstroke
There’s a reason Florida is called the Sunshine State – it gets hot. Anyone working in the construction industry in the state of Florida must deal with extreme heat throughout the summer. Sometimes this high heat can cause heatstroke and dehydration. If you experience heatstroke, your kidneys, heart, and brain can all be damaged. Workers must drink sufficient water, wear proper sun protection, and take daily breaks.
It’s possible for objects to fall from high platforms, scaffolding, and rooftops and hit workers and pedestrians below. Even if the individual is wearing a helmet, heavy objects, such as building materials, can cause serious injuries and even kill the people who are struck. Falling power tools, bricks, and hammers can cause life-changing and devastating brain and head injuries.
Explosions and Fires
Many construction workers must work with hazardous materials and equipment regularly. This includes things like flammable chemicals, leaking pipes, and electrical wiring. If items are not handled properly or if storage methods are not safe, then it can result in serious fires and explosions. Smoking on the job or near a construction site may result in these situations, too.
Just like the other potential accidents on this list, construction site workers and those near construction sites are at risk for electrocution. While working with electrical wires and power cords present this hazard, many electrocutions occur because of someone being careless and not securing job sites properly, leaving live wires lying around, and failing to wear the proper safety gear. Unfortunately, electrocutions are often fatal, and those who do survive may experience severe injuries.
Harmful Substance Exposure
One of the most harmful substances used on construction sites in the past (and on some still today) is asbestos. However, there are other harsh materials and chemicals present too. Breathing in harmful substances or coming in contact with them can cause serious worker illnesses and injuries.
Common Injuries in Florida Construction Accidents
If a construction site doesn’t prioritize worker safety or the safety of pedestrians or others who may venture into the work area, serious injuries and even fatalities occur. While falls are the top cause of work-related deaths in the construction industry, many other hazards must be accounted for (as you see from the list above).
Individuals who are injured and survive will likely experience significant pain and suffering and require extensive medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation. In some cases, they will never fully recover. In some cases, injuries can result in the worker being unable to return to work in the industry. This can result in financial hardships and even lead to mental and emotional disorders.
While knowing the causes of these accidents is important, it’s also wise to learn about some of the injuries that commonly occur so you can take additional steps to protect yourself. These include:
- Loss of limbs or spinal cord injuries due to crush accidents
- Fractures or broken bones caused by falls
- Traumatic brain injuries or head injuries from dropped objects or falls
- Burns from explosions, electrocutions, or fires
- Exposure to chemicals or toxic substances
- PTSD caused by traumatic experiences
- Lacerations and cuts caused by exposed nails, tools, or machinery
- Ankle, knee, or shoulder injuries, including overuse damage and sprains
Physical injuries aren’t the only issue that may occur on construction sites. Some job-related illnesses can take place, which includes:
- Occupational asthma
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Asbestos-related illnesses
- Lung cancer
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn More about Your Rights
When it comes to construction site injuries, there are more than a few causes of them. It’s a good idea to get in touch with our personal injury attorneys at Zimmet & Zimmet to understand and protect your rights. You can count on our attorneys to provide you with the quality representation that you deserve. Our goal is to help you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Contact us for more information.