About the Columbia Construction Industry
Columbia has gone through a massive revitalization in recent years, including the redevelopment of nearby Cayce and the projected development of the 10,000-foot Steel Hands Brewery, according to Columbia Regional Business Report. With more people moving into the region, the demand for housing has sharply increased. The Post and Courier reports that Columbia and the rest of the state have, in particular, seen a significant rise in apartment complex construction. “In the Midlands, about 3,600 units are proposed for the region, with the bulk of those close to downtown Columbia,” according to the newspaper.
Causes of Construction Accidents and Injuries in Columbia
While construction keeps the Columbia economy humming along nicely, it can also be a highly dangerous line of work. Whether they work on high scaffolds or in tight, cramped quarters, construction workers face all sorts of hazards at job sites. The injury statistics are staggering. The construction industry accounts for 20 percent of all work-related deaths in our country, including 991 fatalities that occurred in 2016 alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Some of the leading causes of construction-related injuries in Columbia and throughout South Carolina are:
- Falls (including slip and falls and falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolding)
- Transportation accidents (including car accidents, truck accidents and forklift accidents)
- Contact with objects (such as getting hit by an object or getting stuck in an object)
- Exposure to “live” power lines (causing electrocution)
- Defective products or poorly maintained equipment
- Improper training or lack of supervision
- Faulty trenching or excavation
- Fires and explosions
- OSHA violations (including the lack of proper fall protection systems and communication about hazardous chemicals).
All too often, accidents occur at construction sites because workers fail to identify an unsafe condition before they start an activity, or they move forward with a project even after they identify the hazard. Unfortunately, many construction industry employers put profits before worker safety and pressure workers to engage in dangerous activities.
If you are hurt on a construction job site in Columbia or anywhere in the Midlands, you should seek medical attention right away. For the sake of your health, you need to get immediately examined, diagnosed and started on a course of treatment. You also need to document your injury.
Additionally, you should report your injury to your employer as early as possible. As you move forward, make sure to follow your doctor’s orders, keep a journal that documents your recovery, hold on to all your medical bills and other accident-related receipts, keep track of witness contact information and meet with a lawyer as soon as you are ready to take legal action.