concrete pouring on construction siteConcrete is a fundamental material used in all types of construction. While working with concrete is often taken for granted as an ordinary task, activities involving pouring wet concrete, lifting dry concrete, and working with heavy equipment carry inherent dangers that can lead to accidents and injuries on construction sites.

If you were seriously injured in a concrete-related accident on a New York or New Jersey construction site, you need the experienced construction accident lawyers at Hofmann & Schweitzer to determine the causes of the accident to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and time off work. 

Common Concrete Accidents That Can Cause Serious Injury on a Construction Site

Anyone working with concrete should be skilled and experienced in the process, but even veteran concrete workers can fall victim to factors out of their control and suffer serious injury. Some common accidents that can happen around a concrete-pouring job include the following.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

One of the most prevalent dangers during concrete pouring is the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Wet concrete surfaces can be extremely slippery, posing a hazard to workers navigating the construction site. Uneven terrain, loose debris, and the constant movement of equipment further contribute to the likelihood of accidents.

Contact With Wet Concrete

Direct contact with wet concrete can cause serious skin irritations and chemical burns. Concrete is highly alkaline, and prolonged exposure can lead to dermatitis and other skin-related complications. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to mitigate these risks, but failure to use or maintain such equipment can result in severe injuries.

Manual Handling Injuries

The physical demands of working with concrete, including lifting, carrying, and pouring, can lead to manual handling injuries. Back strains, muscle sprains, and other musculoskeletal issues are common among construction workers involved in concrete-related tasks. Adequate training in proper lifting techniques and the use of mechanized equipment can help reduce the likelihood of these injuries.

Concrete Splatter and Projectiles

During the pouring and finishing stages, concrete splatter is a concern. The force with which concrete is poured, mixed, or vibrated can result in small particles becoming airborne. Workers not wearing appropriate eye protection are at risk of eye injuries, ranging from irritation to more severe damage. Moreover, concrete projectiles can pose a threat to workers in the vicinity, leading to cuts, bruises, or more severe injuries.

Equipment Accidents

The operation of heavy machinery, such as concrete mixers, pumps, and vibrators, introduces the potential for equipment-related accidents. Malfunctions, operator errors, or inadequate training can lead to collisions, entanglements, or crushing incidents. Regular equipment maintenance, proper training, and strict adherence to safety protocols are crucial in preventing these accidents.

Collapse of Forms and Structures

Improperly constructed or supported forms can result in the collapse of concrete structures during the pouring process. This catastrophic event poses a significant risk to workers in the vicinity, leading to injuries or even fatalities. Rigorous quality control measures, adherence to engineering specifications, and regular inspections can help prevent formwork failures.

While concrete pouring is a routine activity on construction sites, it is essential to recognize and address the potential dangers associated with the process. Prioritizing worker safety through comprehensive training, the use of appropriate safety measures, and regular equipment maintenance is paramount in minimizing accidents and injuries.

New York Industrial Code Concrete Safety Requirements

New York Industrial Code Section 23-2.2 sets forth concrete work safety regulations. According to these regulations:

  • Forms, shores, and reshores shall be structurally safe and properly braced or tied together.
  • Designated people shall continuously inspect the stability of all forms, shores and reshores, including supports, during concrete placement. Any unsafe conditions must be fixed immediately.
  • Horizontal and diagonal bracing shall be used to provide structural stability of beams, floors, and roofs. Additionally, shores and reshores shall be seated top and bottom and secured.
  • If shores or reshores are on the ground, mud sills or other bases must be provided.
  • A professional engineer licensed in New York shall design forms, such as shores, reshores, and bracing, if the loads on the forms exceed 150 pounds per square foot. The design plans will be kept on the job site, and all forms must be constructed and installed according to the plans.
  • After stripping, forms must be stockpiled or removed from the area where people work or pass through. Any nails, wire ties, or other materials that are not necessary for additional work need to be pulled, cut, or otherwise made safe to prevent injury.
  • After stripping, reshoring will be done when necessary to support slabs and beams safely or when necessary because of construction on upper levels.

What to Do When You Are Injured in a Concrete Accident

Concrete accidents on construction sites can lead to a range of injuries, posing significant risks to the well-being of workers. These injuries may include slip and falls due to the slippery nature of wet concrete, chemical burns and skin irritations from direct contact with the alkaline substance, manual handling injuries such as strains and sprains from the physical demands of concrete work, eye injuries and lacerations caused by concrete splatter and projectiles, and more severe accidents such as collapses of forms or structures.

In the unfortunate event of a concrete-related injury on a construction site, a work injury attorney can play a crucial role in assisting the injured worker. A skilled attorney specializing in construction site injuries can help navigate the complexities of workers' compensation claims, pursue legal action against negligent parties, and ensure that the injured worker receives the compensation they deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

If you were injured in a construction site accident, Hofmann & Schweitzer’s knowledge of labor laws and construction site regulations could be instrumental in advocating for your rights and holding responsible parties accountable for their actions or negligence.

Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.