Construction sites in New York are inherently dangerous places, with many hazards that can cause serious injury or even death. One of the most common types of accidents on construction sites is slips and falls. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips and falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries in the United States, accounting for nearly 30% of all reported injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, it’s essential to consult with a New York Construction Accident Attorney to protect your rights and seek compensation for your injuries.
Slips and falls can happen on any construction site, but they are especially common in areas where there is a lot of debris, uneven surfaces, or wet or slippery conditions. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents on construction sites include:
- Wet or slippery surfaces: This can include surfaces that have been wet with rain, snow, ice, or mud. It can also include surfaces that have been spilled with liquids or grease.
- Uneven surfaces: Construction sites often have uneven surfaces due to uneven ground, holes, or debris. These uneven surfaces can cause people to trip and fall.
- Debris: Construction sites are often cluttered with debris, such as tools, materials, and equipment. This debris can create tripping hazards and can also make it difficult to see uneven surfaces.
- Poor lighting: Poor lighting can make it difficult to see hazards, such as wet or uneven surfaces and debris. This can increase the risk of slips and falls.
- Improper footwear: Workers who are not wearing proper footwear are more likely to slip and fall. This is especially true if the footwear is not slip-resistant or if it is not properly fitting.
- Carrying heavy objects: Workers who are carrying heavy objects are more likely to lose their balance and fall. This is especially true if they are walking on uneven surfaces or if they are not able to see clearly.
Serious injuries caused by slips and falls
Slips and falls can cause a variety of serious injuries, including those resulting from the causes of slip and fall accidents:
- Fractures: Fractures are the most common type of injury caused by slips and falls. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body, but they are most common in the wrists, ankles, and hips.
- Sprains and strains: Sprains and strains are injuries to the ligaments and tendons, respectively. Sprains and strains are also common injuries caused by slips and falls.
- Head injuries: Head injuries can be very serious and can even be fatal. Head injuries can occur if a person hits their head on the ground or on another object after falling.
- Back injuries: Back injuries are another common type of injury caused by slips and falls. Back injuries can be very painful and can lead to long-term disability.
Preventing slips and falls on construction sites
There are a number of things that can be done to prevent slips and falls on construction sites. These include:
- Keeping surfaces clean and dry: Surfaces should be cleaned and dried up as soon as possible after they become wet or slippery.
- Leveling uneven surfaces: Uneven surfaces should be leveled as soon as possible. If it is not possible to level a surface immediately, it should be marked so that people are aware of the hazard.
- Removing debris: Debris should be removed from walkways and work areas as soon as possible.
- Providing adequate lighting: Work areas should be well-lit so that people can see hazards.
- Requiring workers to wear proper footwear: Workers should be required to wear proper footwear that is slip-resistant and properly fitting.
- Training workers on slip and fall prevention: Workers should be trained on how to prevent slips and falls. This training should include information on the hazards that can cause slips and falls, as well as how to identify and avoid these hazards.
Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their workers. This includes taking steps to prevent slips and falls. Employers can meet this responsibility by following the tips above.