Construction sites are naturally hazardous environments to work in, with heavy machinery, large objects suspended by cranes in many construction projects, and often the need to work at height. That’s why on most construction sites, it’s compulsory to wear a safety helmet and high visibility equipment. However, just because this type of work environment is more dangerous than working in an office or in hospitality, for instance, does not mean that construction workers must accept dangers that can be prevented, or any serious injuries that these dangers cause.
Regardless of working environment, every employer has a legal obligation to protect their employees from these hazards as much as they possibly can. In the case of construction workers, this includes providing fully functional safety equipment. If your employer hasn’t provided you with the required protective equipment and you’ve suffered an injury as a result of this negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Construction injuries explained
Construction injuries don’t just occur on new build commercial and residential construction sites. They can also happen during repairs, utility work, and on demolition sites. It’s not just builders who are at risk of injury on a construction site either. These accidents can also happen to electricians, plumbers, carpenters, joiners, and bricklayers.
The most common types of injury caused by a construction accident are:
- Broken bones or fractures from falling debris or heavy machinery
- Cuts and lacerations from tools and materials
- Vibration injuries caused by machinery
- Eye injuries or sight loss
- Respiratory disease such as asthma or asbestosis
These injuries can be caused by a variety of accident types. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the most common type of accident on construction slight is slips, trips and falls, accounting for 26% of all non-fatal injuries sustained on construction sites. This is followed closely by injuries caused by manual handling at 19%, falls from a height at 19%, and injuries caused by moving objects at 12%.
However, it’s not just visible, physical injuries that take place on construction sites. In the year 2020/21, there were an estimated 74,000 work-related ill health cases in the construction industry, of which over 50% were musculoskeletal disorders.
Accident claims within the construction industry can be complicated. On a construction site, usually there are many people working in a variety of roles with different employment terms. That’s why it’s not always straightforward to apportion blame when accidents do happen. It could be due to the construction company you work for, another company working on the site, the site owner, or even a supplier working with your company.
Regardless, employers and managers have a duty to ensure the construction site complies with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. Since on most construction sites, there could be several people or organisations who are to blame for accidents resulting in injury, an investigation before making a claim is always necessary. That means examining the construction site, speaking to witnesses and reviewing contracts. At InjuryLawyers4U, that’s our role.
Remember, as a construction employee, you are also obligated to comply with the Health and Safety Act, including following on-site safety guidance and training. If you don’t comply with these obligations, the court may conclude that you are at least partly responsible for the accident that caused your injury. This is known as ‘contributory negligence’ and would mean that you only receive partial compensation based on the percentage of liability that isn’t your own.
How do I claim for a construction injury?
If you’ve been injured as a result of an accident on a construction site, the best place to start is to seek treatment for your injuries and gather evidence of the accident. This could include CCTV footage of the accident, details of any colleague or bystander that witnessed the accident so that statements can be taken, copies of the report logged in the accident book on site, and medical reports that reflect your injury, treatment you’ve received and prognosis.
Once this stage is complete, get in touch with InjuryLawyers4U. We’ll put you in contact with an expert personal injury solicitor who will listen attentively to your case and let you know whether you have grounds to claim. If you do have a claim, your solicitor will take you through every step of the injury claim process and assist in preparing your case for court.
Can I make a claim if I’m a contractor or self-employed?
Don’t assume that if you’re self-employed or a contractor, you can’t make a claim if you suffer an injury as a result of an accident on site. The site manager and construction company you work with still have an obligation to keep you safe and make the construction site as safe as possible.
Legally, the company that controls your workplace has the same duty of care to you as they have to their own employees. If you feel they have breached this obligation and didn’t follow necessary health and safety guidelines, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your injury.
What percentage of injuries are caused by manual handling?
According to the Health and Safety Executive’s 2020/21 figures, manual handling accounted for 19% of all non-fatal injuries sustained within the construction industry over that period. It’s the responsibility of the employers to provide training that specifically includes how to lift, carry and handle heavy objects safely. In many recorded accidents, it was found that injuries sustained during manual handling were due to either lack of training or improper training. If you’ve suffered an injury while handling heavy objects on a construction site and you feel that your employer is responsible, get in touch with InjuryLawyers4U.
Injured on a construction site? Get in touch
Dealing with an injury at work is tough. The accident itself can be a traumatic experience, and is often followed by months of ongoing treatment and rehabilitation before the injured person is healed enough to return to work. This often means a significant loss of earnings while trying to get life back on track.
If you’ve been injured due to an accident on a construction site and you wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate. Contact InjuryLawyers4U by calling 0800 221 8888 or filling in an Enquiry Form online. Our expert solicitors are ready to fight your case, and will give you professional, personal advice to help secure compensation on a no win no fee basis.
Construction accident Data from HSE.