Construction site with heavy machinery

Construction Site Dangers to Watch Out For

By David Hammond

Construction sites are bustling with activity and energy as workers build the future of our cities and communities. However, they also contain numerous hazards that can pose risks to workers and passersby alike. At CDH Law, we’ve seen the impact these hazards can have on individuals and their families.

In this blog, our Syracuse construction accident attorneys explore the key dangers lurking around construction sites. Our goal is to arm you with knowledge so you can stay safe whether you’re working on these sites or just walking by.

Falling from Heights

Falling from heights is one of the most serious hazards at construction sites, as falls often lead to severe injuries or fatalities. This danger occurs around unfinished structures, scaffolding, ladders, and rooftops. A moment’s lapse in safety measures, such as inadequate fall protection gear or poorly maintained platforms, can result in a worker or passersby tumbling down. Such falls can cause broken bones, spinal injuries, or worse. Ensuring the use of harnesses, guardrails, and safety nets, along with rigorous training about how to work safely at heights, is crucial to prevent these life-threatening incidents.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls might seem less dramatic than other construction hazards, but they’re a leading cause of on-site accidents. Moreover, these incidents can affect both workers and passersby. Falls at construction sites often occur due to uneven surfaces, scattered tools, or slippery areas from spills or weather conditions. A simple misstep can lead to serious injuries, including fractures, cuts, or head trauma. The cluttered and dynamic nature of construction sites makes vigilance and orderly practices essential. Implementing clear walkways, proper signage, and regular clean-up routines can significantly reduce these risks.

Struck-By Incidents

Struck-by accidents at construction sites pose significant risks of injury, such as those that occur when workers or passersby sustain injuries from dropped tools or falling debris. These incidents can happen unexpectedly, especially in busy urban areas with objects moving overhead. A hard hat might offer some protection, but the force from a falling object can still cause severe injuries, including concussions, broken bones, or even life-threatening conditions. Ensuring secure storage of materials and tools, using toe boards and screens on scaffolds, and establishing exclusion zones under overhead work are critical safety measures.

Electrocution Accidents

Electrical accidents at construction sites are a grave concern, as they often lead to burns, shocks, or even fatalities. These accidents frequently stem from exposed wiring, power lines, malfunctioning equipment, or the installation and maintenance of electrical systems. Similarly, workers might accidentally cut through power lines or use equipment that’s not properly grounded, turning a routine task into a dangerous situation. The lethal combination of water and electricity, especially in outdoor or partially completed indoor environments, heightens the risk of an accident. Implementing strict safety protocols, such as lockout/tagout procedures, regular equipment checks, and comprehensive training for workers, is essential.

Machinery and Equipment Accidents

Cranes, bulldozers, excavators, and other heavy equipment require skilled operation and strict safety protocols to prevent accidents. Common causes of machinery and equipment accidents include operator error, mechanical failures, and lack of proper training. An equipment malfunction or mishap can easily result in crushing injuries, amputations, or fatalities. Ensuring that operators have proper training is vital, as are regular equipment inspections and maintenance. Additionally, establishing clear communication signals and safety zones around operating machinery helps protect everyone on site.

Exposure to Harmful Substances

Workers and passersby can encounter a range of hazardous materials at construction sites, including asbestos, lead, silica dust, and chemical solvents. These substances can cause serious health issues, from respiratory problems and skin irritation to long-term conditions like cancer or neurological damage. The risks are particularly high during demolition, renovation, or when handling older building materials. Protective measures, including proper ventilation, personal protective equipment (PPE), and strict handling protocols, are essential to minimize exposure and protect the health of everyone on and around construction sites.

Injured in a Construction Site Accident? CDH Law Can Help

Recovering fair compensation after a construction site accident requires the help of a skilled and experienced legal team. The Syracuse construction accident lawyers at CDH Law can take on your case and fight on your behalf for fair compensation while you heal. Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.