According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls on construction sites are a leading cause of workplace fatalities. Falls also lead to serious nonfatal injuries. In fact, the rate of nonfatal fall injuries in construction is 50% higher than the combined numbers of every other industry.
Many falls are entirely preventable if the workplace follows proper OSHA guidelines, but not every construction worker enjoys a safe jobsite. Instead, falls will continue to happen, leading to missed time at work, lost wages, medical expenses—and sometimes even death.
Below, we highlight the most common fall injuries on a construction site in the hopes of raising awareness about this occupational hazard.
A leading injury after a fall is a fracture, also called a broken bone. Construction workers can break many different bones, including:
- Hands; and
Fractures range from hairline fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bone, to compound fractures, where the bone protrudes out of the skin.
The key to treating a fracture is to align the pieces of bone so that they can fuse back together and then immobilize the body part to keep the bones in place. You might have your broken limb in a cast. For serious breaks, you might need a pin, screw, or plate inserted to hold the bones together as they heal.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Any powerful blow to your head can change how the brain works. After a fall, you might black out for several seconds or minutes. Traumatic brain injury symptoms also include:
- Stiff neck;
- Headaches that do not decrease in severity;
- Double or blurred vision;
- Impaired memory or concentration;
- Sleep disturbances;
- Increase sensitivity to light or noise; and
- Compromised balance or coordination.
Some symptoms do not develop for a day or two, but you should immediately go to a doctor at the first sign that something is wrong. TBIs can range from minor to serious. A minor TBI might require only rest and over-the-counter pain medication before clearing up after a few weeks. More serious TBIs could require surgery and months of rehabilitation to regain functioning.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Any injury to the spinal cord can result in a loss of mobility or sensation. These losses can be partial or complete, resulting in paralysis. After a fall, you might need surgery to remove bone fragments from the spinal cord. Some patients need multiple surgeries before they can adequately stabilize the spine.
With rehabilitation, some workers might recover partial movement or sensation in affected limbs, but others might never see any improvement.
Speak to an Austin Workplace Injuries Attorney
At DJC Law, our number one priority is you. Unlike other law firms that treat clients like a number, we focus on the unique facts of your case to find the best outcome possible.
If you have been injured on the job, then you might be able to hold a third party accountable for your injuries. To find out more, please contact us to schedule a free, no-risk consultation, by calling 512-888-9999.