Understanding Ironworker Injuries
The Miami Herald recently reported that two ironworkers were among those killed in a crane collapse at a work site last April. The accident, which took place in Seattle, reportedly occurred because winds knocked the crane over after workers prematurely removed pins holding 20-foot sections together. Video of the collapse shows the crane leaning south, then crashing into the nearly-complete Google building below that it was being utilized to work on. The state Department of Labor and Industries faulted and fined the companies behind the project last autumn for failing to adequately supervise the crane disassembly, train workers and follow manufacturer procedures. Sadly, the workers who were fatally injured in the tragic accident were just 31 and 33-years-old.
What Do Ironworkers Do?
Ironworkers have an important role as the work they do consists of installing structural and reinforcing iron and steel to form and support buildings, bridges, and roads. Unfortunately, that means that the work that ironworkers perform can be extremely dangerous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ironworkers perform physically demanding and risky labor that often takes place at great heights and in a variety of weather conditions. The overwhelming majority of those who work in this industry are employed by companies and entities that work on foundation, structure, and building exteriors.
What Are Common Ironworker Injuries?
Because ironworkers often work at higher elevations and are exposed to the elements, they face the risk of suffering serious or even fatal injuries. Possible injuries also vary widely because ironworkers spend significant amounts of time performing physically intense tasks such as carrying, bending, cutting, and connecting iron or steel. Common injuries include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Injuries from chemical exposure
- Welding accidents
- Crushed limbs
- Hearing and vision problems
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Heat-related illnesses
What Are Common Causes of Ironworker Injuries?
Just as many injuries vary widely, there are many factors that may cause or contribute to ironworkers becoming seriously injured in a workplace accident. Common causes include:
- Failure to properly train employees
- Lack of fall protection or fall arrest equipment
- Collapse of scaffolds, steel columns, or decks
- Falling objects, tools and materials
- Exposure to live electrical currents
- Impalement from unprotected objects
- Toxic exposure to chemicals and other contaminants
- Negligence of a coworker
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured While Working in the Ironwork Industry?
When an ironwork worker is injured, it can have severe implications that affect both the injured worker and his or her family. As devastating as the injuries themselves are, high medical bills and time spent away from work can also cause significant damage and strain just like the injuries. The good news is that you are generally able to recover workers’ compensation for injuries incurred at work during the scope of employment, and you may have options even if third-party negligence was involved. However, many people find the process of obtaining these benefits easier and more beneficial when they have obtained the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, we are ready to help you obtain the benefits that you deserve. Begin by contacting us today.