Construction workers frequently use and interact with heavy machinery during construction projects. In a relatively small space a large team of workers may be performing a number of different tasks using cranes, bulldozers, dump trucks, skid steers, and forklifts. Good communication is essential to warn crew members when machinery is in use and to safely negotiate a construction site. When the site does not meet construction safety standards, workers operate equipment unsafely, or machinery malfunctions during use, severe construction site accidents may occur.

Accident Rates

In the United States, industrial accidents rank third in the leading causes of workplace injury. Of all of the industrial accidents that occur each year, 80% involve mechanical equipment. When even minor accidents occur with machinery, serious injury is possible because of the weight of the machinery and the numerous moving parts that could hurt a worker. Workers who experience injury from heavy machinery frequently suffer from broken bones, severed limbs, head trauma, and spine or back injuries.

Injury Prevention

Whenever operating heavy machinery or working around it, workers should always take care to follow safety precautions and report any hazards immediately to the crew foreman. The following safety tips can help prevent life-threatening and life-ending injuries from heavy machinery:

Always wear proper safety equipment, including goggles, hard hat, close toed work boots, long pants, and reflective vest
Report mechanical malfunctions and do not operate malfunctioning equipment
Do not allow unauthorized personnel, such as family, friends, and children, into the construction site
Let other workers know when and where heavy machinery will be in use
Stay clear of moving parts which could catch or cut clothing or limbs
Never walk under elevated heavy machinery or under a heavy load
Heavy machinery accidents have a higher rate of fatality than other accidents because of the severe injuries that may be caused. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury while on site, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately to assist you with your claim. Your employer or a machine manufacturer may be responsible for the accident and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and related costs, such as medical bills, lost wages from time off of work, temporary or permanent disability, and general pain and suffering.