Four types of construction accidents cause the most serious injuries

New homes sales continue to recover. More builders are applying for permits and have stepped up the construction of new homes and apartments to meet demand. As contractors rush to move projects through the pipeline in order to bring in more revenue, safety can sometimes take a back seat. In the worst-case scenarios when construction workers suffer serious or fatal on-the-job injuries, workers' compensation benefits are available.

In 2011, almost 20 percent of the fatal injuries suffered by workers in private industry were in construction. The leading causes of death and serious injury at construction sites were falls, electrocutions, falling objects and getting caught between heavy objects or trapped in a collapse.

Falling from heights and falling objects

Falling from a second story or from a roof can easily lead to a catastrophic injury. Because of the danger, safety rules require that those working over six feet off the ground wear a safety harness and have a guard rail or a safety net underneath the work area. The rules have been in effect for commercial site for several years, but the as of March 15 also apply to residential job sites.

It may be even more difficult to avoid something that falls unexpectedly from above. A recent construction accident at Virginia Tech injured five workers after a hydraulic scaffold collapsed and fell more than 20 feet. The cause of the accident is under investigation, but illustrates the serious impact when something goes wrong at a commercial construction site.

Moving heavy pipe and equipment from trucks to a work site can also increase the risks of these types of accidents. In a separate case, a worker died when struck by a piece of storm sewer pipe that fell from a forklift as it was being unloaded at the project site.

Electrocution and burn injuries

Another danger at many worksites is the risk on coming into contact with electricity. In some cases, working at heights increases the dangers of coming into contact with overhead power lines. For instance, a Missouri man working on a boom lifted died after he struck a high voltage power line while installing siding on an apartment complex.

Other electrical dangers include exposed electrical parts or equipment with damaged cords or that lack grounding pins. Wet conditions along with improperly grounded power tools can easily lead to serious electrocution injuries.

Trench collapses in excavation

One type of the caught in/between accident is a trench collapse. Many projects require trenches such as sewer lines for a housing development project. If a trench wall collapses during work, injuries are serious and sometimes fatal. Sloping, shoring and shielding are ways to prevent these types of accident.

If you are seriously injured in a construction accident, contact a workers' compensation attorney. Seeking the advice of an attorney is one way to ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled and receive enough time off to fully recuperate from the injury.