Construction Site Dangers That Bystanders Should Be Aware Of

Construction is one of the deadliest industries in America according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, construction sites are not only dangerous for workers. Bystanders can also suffer significant injuries when passing through construction sites, especially if the site contains hidden hazards. If you were the victim of an accident in a construction zone, our Las Vegas construction accident lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries. 

Falling Objects

Construction work involves a lot of moving pieces, including dozens of tools and building materials. These objects are often hoisted to heights on scaffolds and cranes for use by workers. They may also be attached to the belts of construction crewmembers who are working from heights. 

If construction items are not properly secured on scaffolds or belts, they can fall and present a serious hazard to bystanders below. Falling objects such as hammers or bricks can be fatal if they strike people underneath the work zone. In addition, disasters such as crane collapses can send objects falling or flying into bystanders.

Poorly Constructed Scaffolds

Many construction sites contain scaffolding – temporary structures erected to allow workers to access high areas of a job using ladders and platforms. Scaffolding must be constructed according to strict safety rules and regulations. They must also be adequately maintained and inspected.

If a construction company fails to properly construct or maintain its scaffolding, these structures can deteriorate and drop dangerous debris on passersby, or collapse entirely. Scaffolding collapses can be catastrophic if there are workers on the scaffolds or bystanders down below at the time.

Construction Vehicles and Equipment

Many different types of vehicles, heavy machinery and industrial equipment are used at the average construction site. Examples include forklifts, cranes, excavators, bulldozers and trucks. If an operator of a piece of machinery is negligent – such as by driving the vehicle carelessly or recklessly – he or she could strike bystanders and cause serious or fatal injuries. Construction equipment that is parked too close to the road could also interfere with work zone traffic, potentially causing a car accident.

Fall Risks

Slip, trip and fall accidents are a top construction hazard for bystanders. If a construction site cuts through a walking path, such as a city sidewalk, a bystander could trip over tools or debris left in the walkway by a construction worker. 

Bystanders could also be at risk of falling into holes or trenches, especially if they are not properly marked and barricaded. These incidents can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

Hazardous Materials

The use of hazardous and toxic materials is often necessary in construction. However, construction companies and their workers must adhere to strict safety protocols to keep both workers and the public safe. 

Bystanders should be protected with measures that keep electrical hazards, chemical spills and fumes, noise pollution, asbestos dust, and other potential public health concerns safely contained and controlled at all times.

Construction Site Safety Tips for Bystanders

Bystanders – including bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists driving through work zones – should exercise caution and stay alert near construction sites to ensure their safety. If any warning signs are posted, read and obey them. Respect any barriers or tape that have been put up to keep bystanders out of harm’s way. Stay clear of active work areas as much as possible, and be aware of your surroundings to reduce the risk of being injured at a construction site.

If you get injured as a bystander at a construction site in Nevada, the personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas at Koch & Brim, LLP can help you understand your legal rights. Contact us today to request a free case consultation.