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Seven causes of accidents on construction sites

Working in construction is not for the faint of heart.

In 2016, Texas had the highest number of fatal work accidents in the United States, at 545, and many occurred in the construction sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are the most common construction site accidents and incidents that often result in construction workers seeking personal injury compensation.

Falls from scaffolding or structures

Falls are the most common and fatal of accidents seen on construction sites.

In 2015, almost 40 percent of construction worker deaths in the U.S. were due to falls, according to the BLS.

Because many construction sites are multi-story buildings, the chances that a worker could sustain serious injuries from a simple stumble increase.

Providing the proper safety equipment and training for workers could be beneficial in preventing falls, particularly if the workers are accessing a site where they work in the air or on elevated structures.

Tripping or slipping

Tools and materials are often found stacked around construction sites, and workers need to avoid these to keep from tripping.

Trying to walk on ice, rain and snow can also cause someone to lose their footing. This includes construction workers who brave the elements to fix the roads and pavements people use to get around.

Being hit by vehicles

Tractors, trailers, cranes and trucks are common sights in construction zones.

"The majority of fatalities that occur in road construction work zones in the United States involve a worker being struck by a piece of construction equipment or another vehicle," according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. "A worker in this industry is just as likely to be struck by a piece of construction equipment inside the work zone as by passing traffic."

To decrease the chances of being hit, workers can wear reflective vests and other protective clothing to increase their visibility when they work around vehicles.

Getting struck by moving or falling materials

Construction materials are some of the main culprits of workplace accidents.

Building materials caused the most injuries in 2015, followed by metal, pipes, ducts and wood, according to a BLS survey.

Workers should use personal protective equipment, including hard hats, gloves, safety glasses and steel or composite-toed boots to cut the risk of being injured by materials being moved.

Electrocution

Last year, the BLS reported that 81 fatal accidents on construction sites were due to electrocution.

"Locate and identify utilities before starting work," OSHA cautions. "Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment" to reduce your risk of electrocution.

Trench collapse

Many types of construction sites need trenches, including ones to create buildings, to fix underground pipes and to build roads.

To keep from getting injured by a collapsed trench, OSHA says workers should never go in an unprotected trench, nor should they go in an area that is excavated deeper than 5 feet, unless it has a protective system.

Injuries from fires or explosions

Working next to flammable gases or compressed air presents the danger of explosion and fire.

Construction site employees should pay close attention to warning labels and safety standards to prevent this type of injury.

After an accident

After a construction worker has been in an accident, whether that worker is contracted or salaried in the company, addressing medical costs and lack of income during recovery becomes a pressing concern.

Unfortunately, sometimes workers compensation and insurance don't fully cover costly medical expenses or missed days of work. However, once you've been injured, the countdown has already started to seek compensation from your employer.

Experienced personal injury lawyers, such as those at Thomas J Henry, can help you understand your options after an on-the-job injury and move forward to get you the compensation you deserve.

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