Common Construction Site Hazards

Construction workers are the backbone of the concrete jungle that is New York. Behind every building is the work of many diligent employees who put their lives at risk daily to produce the infrastructure we see. Construction sites are dynamic environments where numerous hazards face employees. From heavy machinery to precarious heights, the risks to workers’ safety are abundant. Despite all the safety regulations in place, accidents still occur frequently in the construction industry. Our legal experts at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.P.P. have organized a list of the most common construction hazards and discuss why having legal representation, such as an attorney, is essential for both workers and employers.

Falls from Heights

Falls from heights remain one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. 25% of fatal falls in New York occur off a scaffolding and can lead to serious injuries such as paralysis, amputation, internal organ damage, and psychological trauma. As workers are exposed to significant risks when working on any scaffolding, roofs, or ladders, the dangers listed can be extended to other trades. Carpenters, welders, window washers, painters, and maintenance workers are also susceptible to scaffolding accidents. Failure to provide proper fall protection equipment or inadequate training can exacerbate these dangers. 

Struck-By Accidents

Struck-by accidents occur when falling objects, equipment, or vehicles on construction sites hit workers. These accidents can be classified in four ways: struck-by-flying objects, falling objects, swinging objects, and rolling objects. These accidents can result in traumatic injuries, including fractures, head injuries, and internal damage. Workers are expected to follow the necessary precautions such as utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) and keeping a distance from operating vehicles. Implementing proper safety measures, such as establishing designated pathways and securing tools and materials is crucial in preventing struck-by accidents. 


Construction sites often involve the extensive use of electrical equipment and wiring. Accidental contact with live wires or faulty equipment can lead to severe injuries or even death due to electrocution. Employers must enforce strict safety protocols and provide adequate training to help reduce these risks. An attorney can assist in investigating the circumstances of an electrocution accident and holding negligent parties accountable.

Caught-In or Between Hazards

Caught in or between accidents, alongside the three previous hazards, compose OSHA’s fatal four, the top four causes of construction fatalities. Machinery and heavy equipment pose significant risks of workers getting caught in or between moving parts. From trench collapses to being caught in machinery, these accidents can lead to crush injuries, amputations, or death. Employers must prioritize safety by providing adequate guarding, training, and supervision. An attorney can advocate for injured workers to receive the compensation they deserve and push for improved regulation standards on construction sites.

Hazardous Substances

Construction sites often involve exposure to hazardous substances such as asbestos, silica, and toxic chemicals. Prolonged exposure to these substances can result in respiratory illnesses, cancer, and other serious health conditions. Employers must implement proper handling, storage, and disposal procedures to protect workers from harm. Hazardous substances provide unique troubles for workers, more of which you can read about in our previous blog post regarding asbestos liability. The construction industry is inherently risky, with workers facing numerous hazards on a daily basis. While safety measures are crucial in curbing these risks, accidents can still occur due to negligence or unforeseen circumstances. In such instances, having legal representation, such as an attorney experienced in construction accidents, is essential. At Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.L.P. our expert staff is well-versed in advocating for the rights of injured workers and helping improve safety standards within the industry. Contact us at 212-355-8000 for any of your personal injury case needs.