Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Types of construction accidents - The most common building site injuries

Construction sites can be a very dangerous place to work, especially if the proper health and safety measures aren’t in place. In 2012, it was recorded that 49 construction workers in the UK died as the result of a workplace accident and many more were seriously injured. 

When proper precautions are being enforced, construction sites can be much less hazardous. Here are some of the common accidents that occur on the work site and an idea of the amount of compensation you might expect to receive.

Common accidents

The main accidents that occur on construction sites are ones that are typically associated with manual labour and working with heavy machinery. There are many injuries that can happen which are not the fault of a third party, for example pulling a muscle or hitting your fingers with a hammer. As these incidents are of your own doing you probably won’t be able to claim compensation. However, construction site accidents that could be the fault of a third party include:

  • Slips and trips 
  • Falls from height 
  • Crush injuries 
  • Struck by falling objects
  • Electrocution/ Explosions 
The injuries that are sustained during these accidents range from mild injuries like grazes and bruising, to more serious damage such as broken bones, being paralysed and even limb amputation. Most of these accidents can be avoided but in the unfortunate cases when they do happen, you could be entitled to compensation.

Falls / Hit by falling objects

Although wearing protective equipment, like hard hats, can help to prevent some of the damage caused by falling objects they do not guarantee that you won’t sustain serious head injury. There are many ways in which you could sustain a brain injury on a construction site, the most common way this happens is by falling from height or being struck by falling objects. 

If the accident was no fault of your own then you may be able to claim for compensation to help cover your medical bills, loss of earnings and other expenses which may occur. The compensation you are likely to receive for being injured at work isn’t the same for every incident as it is based on your situation and the damage caused by the injury. 

Typically, head injury compensation can range from £1,500- £280,000; it is important to note that the larger the pay out, the worse the injury is likely to be, with the large amounts being paid out to help cover lifelong medical treatment.

Crush injuries

Breaking ribs while on the construction site is quite a common complaint, as it is the usual result of sustaining injuries when you’ve been crushed by vehicles or machinery. Seriously broken ribs can prevent you from working, as it can often be painful to move and breathe. Compensation for this injury typically range from around £1,800 - £2,500, however if your back was also injured during the accident then you’re looking at more compensation as these injuries are generally more damaging. 

How badly your back is damaged alters the amount of compensation you could receive; broken spines tend to get more compensation than muscle damage as they take much longer to heal. Crush injuries can inflict a huge variation of injuries from damage to internal organs, degloving injuries, broken spinal cords and even limb amputation, which means that the compensation you’re entitled to ranges from the hundreds to the hundreds of thousands depending on your injuries.

Limb injuries

Probably the most common accidents on a construction site are limb injuries, which can be the result of almost any situation. Hands in particular can be easily injured in the workplace as they can become crushed when trying to move heavy objects or damaged when operating unsafe equipment or machinery. 

Arms and legs can also become hurt in many ways, they are often damaged when falling from heights, burned as the result of electrocution or even wounded by malfunctioning machinery. Limb injuries can range from broken digits and sprains to serious fractures and sometimes even amputation. Due to the difference in severity, compensation can value anywhere from £600 to over £200,000, with the more serious injuries being awarded the larger claims.

Claiming compensation

Your employer has a responsibility to protect you from the hazards of the workplace by instilling health and safety measures into every area of the construction site. It’s well known that construction sites can be a dangerous place to work but the employer needs to make every effort in making it a safer place to work. 

If your accident has occurred due to the failure of your employer to meet their legal duty to adhere to the health and safety standards, then you could be entitled to compensation. If your employer has neglected aspects of health and safety that becomes a legal case in its own right, it is important to address problems and report any unsafe areas to your manager so there is a record of it in case of an accident.

In order to get the best possible compensation claim you should be sure to use an experienced construction accident lawyer, they have a wealth of knowledge of making claims in this area and can get you the compensation you deserve.

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