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Increase in Construction Accidents During Warmer Months

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July 21st, 2020
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, construction accidents increase during summer months. Part of the increase is attributable to work zone accidents during summer when there are more infrastructure projects. The hot weather also creates more hazards for workers on construction job sites.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, in 2019 there were 5,808 work zone crashes, including 17 work zone fatalities. Besides the danger to road crews, any kind of construction workers on the job faces greater risk of injury, especially during busy summer months.

If you were hurt during your construction job, Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC can help get the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. Whether hurt by a passing vehicle during road construction or falling from a scaffolding at a building site, you need one of our job injury attorneys to fight for you. Call us today at (313) 462-7979 for a free, confidential case review.

Construction and Workplace Safety

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous due to several factors including: the use of heavy machinery, sharp tools, working at great heights, and the elements. Throw in contract terms where missed deadlines might mean huge penalties that increase pressure to work long hours and poor conditions. The result is often construction-related injuries.

Under federal and state law, contractors must provide employees on a construction site with a safe workplace that is free from unsanitary, hazardous, and dangerous conditions. Employers are required to have an accident prevent program in which employees are trained on the operation, hazards, and safeguards for equipment or machinery. All equipment and machinery must be inspected for unsafe conditions and if personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed, it must be supplied.

Michigan law also requires that construction employers provide access to medical attention, including having someone certified in first aid on site. First aid supplies approved by a doctor must be on site, accessible, and maintained.

Failure to adhere to these laws could make a difference as to who is at fault for your accident and how much compensation you receive for an on the job injury, so it is important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. While often the injury will be handled by the state workers’ comp system, there could be other liable parties as well.

Heat-Related Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every year heat kills dozens of workers and makes thousands more ill. Pursuant to OSHA and state law, employers must keep workplaces free of known safety hazards, which includes protecting workers from extreme heat.

To prevent illnesses and injuries related to heat, employers should take reasonable measures, such as:

  • Providing water, rest, and shade.
  • Allowing more breaks and lighter workloads while workers adjust to the heat.
  • Training workers on prevention of heat-related issues and having plan to respond to emergencies.
  • Monitoring workers for signs of illness.

If employers or third parties such as property owners, contractors, vendors, or product manufacturers fail to take the proper precautions, when they know the dangers of excessive heat, they must be held responsible for the resulting damages.

In the warm weather months, constructions workers could be injured or killed by:

    • Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
      • Heat stroke happens when the body can’t regulate its temperature. A high body temperature could lead to permanent disability or death. Signs of heat stroke include:

rapid heart rate, chills, confusion, slurred speech, dry/reddish skin, and a lack of sweating.

    • Heat exhaustion results when workers lose too much water and salt. The symptoms include heavy sweating, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion, clammy or flushed skin, cramping and fainting.
  • Accidents with vehicles as driver, passenger, pedestrian, or even working as a flagger to alert other drivers to the construction zone. Because of increased summer traffic, there can be more accidents between workers and third parties.
  • Tools and equipment that slip or miss their intended mark due to sweat on hands or in eyes. Sweaty hands can cause workers to lose their grip. Sweat can also obstruct vision and fog safety goggles leading to tripping, falls, or tool accidents.
  • Tools, metals, and machinery left in the sun that can heat to dangerous temperatures, posing risks of serious burn injuries to workers who use them.
  • Overheated flammable and combustible products. Materials that catch fire or explode can lead to burns and concussive injuries.

Working Construction and Injured on the Job? Call Us.

Construction work is inherently dangerous, and many workers are hurt on the job every year, especially in warmer weather. Make sure you and your employer are doing everything possible to avoid accidents. But if you were hurt working construction, or if a loved one was killed on a worksite, Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC have experience in all kinds of construction accident lawsuits.

Call (313) 462-7979 today so we can investigate your accident, determine who might be at fault, and then advise you of your legal options. We can help get you the compensation you or your family deserve.