Health and Safety breaches
The health and safety of staff should be number one priority. Rushing towards a deadline, cutting corners and using the wrong equipment just to get the job done is no excuse. Unfortunately we have dealt with many cases where the employer has put the job before the people – which has lead to serious injury and in some tragic cases; death.
Types of building site accidents
Every building and construction site is different however below is a list of our most common building site compensation claims.
- Falling off scaffolding
- Falling from incorrect ladder
- Safety harness accident
- Struck by forklift
- Hit by plant machinery
- Faulty machinery
- Chemical spill
- Lack of training
- Struck by falling object/tool
- No health and safety briefings
Common construction injuries and incidents
In a construction environment it is not unlikely that injuries suffered are more serious (and potentially fatal) than other workplaces due to the type of tasks performed with the materials/ tools required. Serious injuries we have experienced from our clients in the past include:
Severe burning: Construction sites use a multitude of tools to build and maintain Britain. From blowtorches to heat guns, tar heating pots to all manner of electrical power tools. All of these carry the risk of rendering serious 3rd and even 4th degree burns to anybody working with them if skin is exposed for even a short time.
When we consider burns, we don’t always think about other types of burns than from contact with fire. It simply takes an extremely hot environment focussed on a small surface. Exposure to heat guns or tar after being heated can have devastating effects on the victim. Damage can include 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree burns that could require skin grafting or even amputation if the area becomes infected.
Electrical burns can also have exactly the same life changing effects, except with the added potential of causing sub dermal damage, penetrating deep into the tissue and even affecting the nervous system of the victim. All types of burns can change a person’s life from psychologically (if they need skin graft or have been badly scarred) to long-lasting nerve damage that could impair the use of limbs if injured beyond full repair.
Lacerations/Amputations: When exposed to tools that are designed for cutting, drilling, chamfering and shaping materials, the risks of those tools accidentally coming into contact with yourself are high; even more so if incorrect technique, PPE or tooling is given to you. The majority of machinery used in a construction based environment is likely to be heavier usage than that of a regular tradesman such as a joiner, plumber or electrician.
When heavy machinery cuts into somebody, regardless of the location on the body, there is potential for much worse than simply cuts. Deep lacerations from a blade or drill will cut deep into human tissue, into muscles and even into bone. The severity of cuts into bones or muscle could mean the end of physical activity using that area of the body again if it is a bad cut. The recovery time from such injuries can range from months to many years, with the chance of a full recovery not being possible.
Any laceration that is deep could cause enough damage that the affected limb would never recover, or that the risk of infection is too high. Amputations of affected areas such as hands, arms, legs and feet may render the victim unable to work for the rest of their life and need extra care or alterations to their lifestyle.
Severe slips, trips & falls: When speaking of slips, trips and falls it is often thought of as a minor injury occurred and rarely as an injury experienced in construction. The truth however is that these simplest of injuries can cause very serious damage in this particular environment due to the external hazards within a construction site. Employees work with heavy, solid materials and sharp tools that even when stationary or on the ground can cause serious injury if fallen upon. If the workers are also at height, on the side of a building, on scaffolding or on platforms, the result of a fall can be extremely damaging or even fatal.
Falling on a saw, bricks or uneven surface could lead to punctures in the body, broken bones, deep lacerations and even brain damage should the person fall and hit their head. Suddenly what normally results in a sprain, dislocation or minor break could become a long-term, severe, life threatening injury under the wrong circumstances. Extensive PPE is given to construction employees for the very purpose of trying to avoid these worst of scenarios.
Brain injuries: Risks in the construction industry of brain injuries are higher than other workplaces. The potential of rubble, materials and tools falling on a worker is high. These risks could, depending on the force/sharpness/weight and shape of the object, easily cause much damage resulting in either blunt force trauma to the brain (with potential internal bleeding) or even cutting the head and cracking the skull. Both options could lead to the victim being rendered unconscious; a resulting brain injury could threaten their life and not just the rest of their career.
Brain injuries are one of the most serious injuries anybody can suffer with the chances of complications high. Any brain function affected can change a person’s life instantly, requiring them to need care for the rest of their life, force them to retire or even kill them. With such high stakes, compensation from this type of injury would be need to aid the long-term recovery process; not just for the victim but extending to their family who may also lose out financially and emotionally.
Spinal injuries: Similarly to brain injuries, the risks of tools, debris or even structures that aren’t complete falling on a person can cause harsh bodily harm. With spinal injuries this can extend to carrying too much weight, being struck by any vehicles on site or even a slip, trip or fall on a hard surface, sharp-edged surface or from height.
Spinal injuries in construction settings can end a working career; they can cause anything from lifelong back pain to numbing and weakening of joints to the loss of use in limbs depending on where the impact happens. Paralysis whether it is partial or total can heavily impact the life of a victim alongside their family, with extra care requirements possibly needed for the rest of their life.
The long term impact of spinal injuries (be it a break of the column, pressure causing ruptures, penetration into the bone or over rotation) can cause huge financial strain on a sufferer. We will always aim to help claim enough compensation to keep a victim and their family secured for any future lifestyle changes and requirements post injury.
How do I make a claim?
If you have been injured on a building site and you want to make a claim then the first thing to do is getting in touch with us. You can call us free or alternatively, you can fill in the claim form on the right hand side and we will get back to you.
If you are worried about your employer taking disciplinary action because of the claim see here.
Scott Rees & Co, the workplace accident specialists
We have over 23 years of experience dealing with workplace accident claims so rest assured, you are in safe hands. We use the latest medical advancements available to make the claim as smooth as possible and to maximise the compensation you will be awarded.