Summer, or “construction season,” is kicking off in Minnesota, and while workers are breaking a sweat on hot, summer days, many of their peers will experience an injury or illness.
Injuries from construction sites create risky situations for workers. In Minnesota alone, 18 out of 92 fatal work injuries were from construction and extraction occupations during 2016. These fatal injuries are devastating to the families and workplaces left behind. And it’s necessary to recognize how these injuries can be avoided.
Types of construction injuries
There are a variety of injuries that construction workers could experience, but certain causes are easier to spot. Recognizing common types of injuries will help you avoid problem spots and take extra precautions. They are:
- Falls – These are the most common (and preventable) type and typically involves falling from cranes, roofs, ladders and other heights
- Falling objects – Many brain and spinal injuries occur from falling objects that weren’t secure.
- Equipment-related accidents – Heavy machinery is typically dangerous, especially if the machine fails.
- Fire and explosions – Hazardous conditions at sites can lead to fires or explosions.
Medical conditions from work
Sometimes injuries from work develop over time due to no medical attention or extended exposure to dangerous substances. Even health concerns like elevated blood lead levels can come from working on construction sites.
Injuries that could lead to prolonged medical conditions include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Burns from fires
- Infected cuts from exposed nails, tools or machinery
- Loss of hearing from loud noises
- Paralysis from falls
- Head injuries from falls or objects dropped from above
What to do after an accident
Even if you do your best to avoid injury, it can still happen because unpredictable situations happen on construction sites every day. You can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits to help shoulder your family’s financial load until you return to work.
However, workers’ comp isn’t always a guarantee. People are denied compensation for a multitude of reasons, including not reporting the incident in time, having your claim disputed by your employer or not receiving medical treatment following the accident.
If you are injured in a construction accident, seek immediate medical attention. It’s important for your health and your job.