Top Causes of Construction Accidents

Top Causes of Construction Accidents

Workplace accidents are more common in construction than in most other industries. The top causes of construction worker injuries and fatalities remain falls, electrocutions, struck-by, and caught-in or caught-between incidents. Much of the time, these construction accidents are preventable, meaning a personal injury attorney can help determine who is liable to compensate you for damages.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes these top four causes of construction accidents:

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Between 2015 and 2019, 37.9% of construction fatalities were caused by slips, trips, and falls.¹ A fall can involve losing footing on a slippery or uneven surface, incorrect use of a ladder, improperly mounting or dismounting from equipment, or falling from a height. Falls due to debris, open holes, or environmental conditions like rain or snow can also result in traumatic brain injuries and other life-changing events.

As dangerous as they are, falls can be prevented with:

  • Proper use of personal fall arrest equipment
  • Perimeter protection in hazardous areas
  • Secured scaffolds with posted weight limits
  • Worker education on proper ladder use
  • Properly installed/labeled floor opening covers
  • Guardrails near stairs
  • Secured roofing materials

Struck-By Injuries

The force of a moving object hitting a person can cause catastrophic injuries. A struck-by injury often involves a falling object. However, an object that is rolling, swinging, or otherwise in motion can cause a severe construction accident. The type of object, its size, and the speed it is traveling can determine the severity, which can range from a minor bruise to life-threatening or fatal injuries.

Struck-by injuries may be caused by a moving vehicle, flying debris, a discharged nail from a nail gun, broken high-pressure hoses, falling suspended loads, dropped tools, or flying nuts and bolts. Such injuries are often the result of:

  • Improper securing of materials or structures
  • Lack of training in safety procedures
  • Neglect to take reasonable precautions

Caught-in or Caught-Between

Heavy objects and machinery pose serious risks to construction workers. Whether clothing or a body part is caught in a machine’s moving parts or someone is caught between large, heavy objects, devastating injuries can result. Death is not uncommon in incidents that involve crushing or strangulation.

A caught-in injury can occur when loose clothing or a body part is pulled into a saw, drill, or other type of power tool. Workers’ clothing can also get caught between motor parts of a vehicle, or a person can be caught between unsecured sheets of metal. Other examples include being crushed between a vehicle and a wall, under a lowering hydraulic truck frame, or beneath a collapsing wall.

Preventing such a construction accident requires:

  • Adequate protective systems for workers
  • Proper construction/bracing for walls and scaffolds
  • Proper support for trenches and excavation sites
  • Correct use of heavy machinery
  • Sufficient training on safely using equipment/machinery


An electrical shock, burn, or other injury can vary in severity, but an electrocution results from exposure to lethal amounts of electrical current. It can occur due to contact between a metal ladder or machinery component and an overhead power line or if a coworker accidentally turns on the power while electrical work is being performed. Touching damaged wiring or crossing wires during a service box installation can also result in an electrocution.

Electrocutions are deadly but preventable. To avoid them:

  • Locate and identify utilities and overhead power lines before beginning work or operating equipment.
  • Stay a safe distance from transmission lines and other high-voltage sources.
  • Use only grounded or double-insulated portable electric tools.
  • Install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Avoid using electrical equipment in wet conditions.
  • Ensure electrical equipment is properly grounded.

Common Construction Accident Injuries

In addition to traumatic brain injuries and electrocutions, other common types of injuries due to construction accidents include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Vision impairment/blindness
  • Broken bones
  • Neck, shoulder, and back injuries
  • Knee and ankle injuries
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Call The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani

Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have represented clients and their family members in many types of construction accident cases. The resulting injuries are often deadly or life-altering. Oftentimes, they occur due to negligence. Therefore, we work to obtain high settlements and fair compensation in an injury or wrongful death lawsuit. To schedule a free consultation and case estimate, call (888) 952-2952 today.



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