There is currently a shortage of experienced and skilled labor in the construction industry. This shortage can be a volatile mix when paired with our nation’s lack of affordable housing, the increasing costs of construction materials, and the growing pressure for construction companies to deliver on time and on budget.
The 2019 construction trends have tried to meet all of the demands on the construction industry while taking into account the shortcomings in its labor force. Some of these trends include:
- Increased production of modular units due to their affordability;
- Movement towards automation to reduce human workload;
- Use of waste eliminating strategies to streamline processes;
- Movement towards private sector investors for some large public projects, such as high-speed ground transportation to allow outsourcing and avoid overregulation.
These trends are meant to address the lack of experienced and skilled labor, and increasing costs and pressure on the construction industry. However, some of these trends have led to increased building heights, need for more highly-skilled laborers, and outsourcing of large blocks of materials.
Common Construction Accidents and Injuries
Despite changes in the industry, construction sites remain inherently risky workplaces. Construction workers suffer numerous and varied injuries including:
- Falls from scaffolding, roofs, or cranes;
- Falling objects such as tools or hard hats;
- Equipment-related accidents, nail gun misfires, rollovers;
- Being backed over or crushed in-between heavy equipment;
- Fires from leaking pipes or chemicals;
- Trench or building collapses;
- Repetitive motion injuries;
- Heat stroke, hypothermia;
- Lead exposure;
- Respiratory diseases, asbestosis, silicosis.
Medical conditions caused by these injuries can include the following:
- Amputation of fingers, toes, or limbs;
- Broken bones or fractures;
- Burns from fire or electricity;
- Cuts from nails, tools, or machinery;
- Loss of vision from impaling by sharp objects;
- Loss of hearing from loud noises and loud equipment;
- Spinal injuries from falls;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder from being involved in an accident;
- Toxic exposure to chemicals, welding chemicals;
- Head trauma or brain injuries from falls or dropped objects.
Improving Construction Site Safety
Many of these injuries and medical conditions could be avoided through regular inspections and equipment updates. Increasing the safety of construction worksites would have a positive benefit on the construction industry’s ability to bring in more skilled workers, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.
Consistent training and safety meetings should be a part of every construction company’s agenda. Studies have shown that while implementing safety measures and precautions may be expensive initially, the return on investment is exponential.
According to the National Safety Council, construction companies can save an average of $32,000 for each medically consulted injury they avoid and $4 in indirect costs for every $1 in direct costs by evading an injury in the workplace.
Therefore, it makes fiscal sense to avoid construction accidents and injuries by putting health and safety measures and precautions in place for workers. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, eliminating construction accidents from falls, falling objects, electrocution, and equipment incidents would save 582 workers’ lives in the United States each year.
Compensation for Construction Accidents
If you or a loved one were injured in an Arkansas construction accident, it is important to seek the help of an experienced construction accident attorney. An experienced attorney will know the type of construction accident claim you suffered. Your legal claim may be a workers’ compensation claim or even a personal injury claim.
A construction accident attorney can help with any insurance companies and paperwork as well as get you compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and any future medical needs. However, there are time limits to filing your claim so it is important to contact a construction accident attorney right away.
The Law Offices of Alan LeVar offers a free consultation with an experienced Arkansas construction accident attorney. Contact us today. We have offices located throughout Arkansas and are ready to help guide you through the complexities of a construction accident or injury.