Construction is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States. Each year, one in every ten construction workers is injured on the job. Many of these workers require long-term treatment and the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney.
Over the course of a career, construction workers have a one-in-two-hundred chance that they will die on the job. Even with improved safety standards and greater oversight by OSHA and regulatory agencies, construction workers are still balancing on a knife’s edge between safety and danger. In Nevada, it’s estimated that 5 construction workers lose their lives every year.
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Falls are the leading cause of fatal construction accidents — in particular, falls from ladders of less than 10 feet long. Just over 27% of fatal construction falls happen within this range. A further 12% of fatal falls occur on ladders with a height of more than 25 feet.
Even more dangerous are falls from scaffolding, which account for 33% of fatal accidents from heights. However, the most dangerous are falls from roofs, which account for 39% of all fatal accidents. In fact, the most commonly cited OSHA violation is lack of fall protection for workers.
Traumatic Brain Injury is a common injury experienced by construction workers. Falling objects can lead to concussions, contusions, and lacerations. While hardhats can help protect workers, they are not “bulletproof” and workers’ compensation attorneys represent many workers each year who are injured by falling loads and falling tools.
Heavy machinery is responsible for causing many broken bones and fractures. Construction workers can be injured by everything from bulldozers and cranes to cement mixers and improperly secured loads that fall onto workers.
Hand injuries account for 33% of injuries at work. Injuries to the hand can be caused by equipment and tools, heavy loads, or becoming entangled within machinery. It is estimated that limb or digit loss leads to permanent disability for 20% of injured workers.
It is estimated that 95% of construction workers are exposed to high levels of noise on the job. Hearing loss occurs even though OSHA requires that ear protection to be provided to workers exposed to 85 dB or higher. It is estimated that up to 50% of all construction workers will experience partial or complete loss of hearing by the end of their construction career.