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Accidents at Work: Building and Construction Site Hazards

Building and construction sites can be hazardous places to work in and consist of many perils which could expose employees to a serious risk of injury. Accidents on building and construction sites can be a regular occurrence especially where an employer has not fully implemented appropriate health and safety procedures. This can be distressing not only for the injured employee but also those who witness horrific injuries.

It stands to reason that construction jobs score highly on any list of workplace accidents and fatalities.

The most common construction site accidents include defective scaffolding, manual handling/lifting accidents, equipment failure, an unsafe workplace, falls from ladders and employee negligence.

Here are some examples of the common accidents which can lead to life changing injuries.

Manual Handling/Lifting

Moving heavy objects without adequate training can cause severe back injuries, which can lead to permanent damage. Lifting incorrectly is the way most back injuries are incurred. Lifting heavy objects can also lead to crush injuries which can lead to severe incapacity and mobility issues. It is a legal requirement for employees to ensure manual handling health and safety training is available to all employees before starting any manual handling work.

Equipment Failure

It is very common for work equipment to fail. This usually arises when an employer has not inspected and maintained work equipment. All employers in the UK have a duty of care to employees to ensure that work equipment provided is safe and fit for purpose for you to use. Accidents can be caused by uninspected and/or faulty machinery, lack of safety equipment for protection, mechanical failures, absent or damaged guards as well as human error arising from a lack of training to use equipment correctly.

If an employer should have known about the faulty nature of the equipment, you could have a potential claim against your employer.

Falls From Height

Falls from height are one of the main causes of fatal injuries at work. Since work at height is carried out every day within the construction industry, this is a daily risk that employees must be aware of.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 are intended to prevent death and injury from a fall from height and outlines what an employer is expected to do in order to comply with it. Work at height is defined as any place a person could fall a distance that has the potential to cause injuries. The most common examples of working at height involve working on a ladder, scaffolding or a roof, areas where an employee could fall through a fragile surface, such as, roof lights, or could fall through an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground.

The employer has a duty to ensure all work at height is risk assessed, controlled, supervised and carried out with a safe system of work. Equipment should also be checked to ensure it safe, and employees should be provided training and knowledge to enable them to undertake the work safely.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips and falls can be a daily occurrence and a frequent cause of injuries within the construction industry. The factors which lead to slips, trips and falls can consist of anything from wet and slippery surfaces, obstructions and objects left in pathways, unsecured materials to uneven surfaces. Employers should take adequate preventative measures to ensure suitable personal protective equipment such as non-slip footwear is provided, ensure any hazardous surfaces are signposted with warning signs and the site should be kept tidy with equipment, tools and building materials in good order.

The issues relating to building and construction site accidents can be complex. It is therefore important that expert legal advice is obtained. If you have suffered an injury on a building or construction site that was not your fault and was caused by poor safety measures, you may be able to make claim for compensation.

Our Personal Injury solicitors are able to provide bespoke legal advice and services in respect of these cases. Please call us on 0808 271 9413, request a call back online or email us for further guidance.