Construction is one of the world’s most dangerous industries. In the United States alone, approximately 150,000 construction workers are injured on the job each year. Lacerations are among the most common injuries construction workers face. This happens due to defective tools, exposed nails, and other hazards that are common on construction sites that don’t prioritize safety.
What Is a Laceration?
A laceration is a cut or tearing of the body’s soft tissue and skin. A laceration injury involves a wound in which the skin is cut open, torn, or punctured, and it can happen anywhere on an individual’s body. This wound is often caused by a sharp object or a cut from a blunt object.
Causes of Lacerations
A cut is a common workplace injury, especially for construction workers. A laceration can result from:
- Low overhangs
- Slip and falls
- Exposed sharp objects
- Broken glass
- Construction work tools
- Metal edges
Laceration wounds vary in their severity from surface wounds to deep tissue cuts. Sometimes, lacerations can be fatal or result in long-term effects. Lacerations and cuts on specific body parts such as the neck and the head can be challenging to the worker. The deeper the wound, the more severe the consequences. This is especially true for deep cuts that cause damages to bones or muscles.
Signs and Symptoms of Lacerations
Laceration injuries can be of many sizes and shapes and the skin may look like a gash, tear, or a deep cut. The wound is often painful, bruised, swollen, and may bleed. If you suffer a laceration on the head or scalp, the bleeding may not stop for a while. The cut may appear to have wider edges, and you can also experience some numbness in the area surrounding it.
How a Laceration Is Diagnosed
According to OSHA, construction sites are among the most dangerous working environments today. Most construction workers work with tools that can easily cause lacerations and injuries to their skin. If you suffer a laceration, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately.
Ensure you also inform your doctor about how you sustained your injury. The doctor will examine the injury and advice on the best treatment plan. They can also ask for a screening of the injured area through MRI and CT scans, an ultrasound, and an X-ray to check for foreign objects in the laceration.
Life-Threatening Laceration Wounds
Some lacerations can be superficial, while others are life-threatening or fatal. Even if your injury seems insignificant, secondary infections could make them life-threatening. Any injury that causes a wound or a cut to the skin should be treated immediately to avoid secondary infections.
Deep wounds and cuts to the head, back, and neck should be treated immediately. Your doctor can recommend surgery if you have deep wounds, serious crush injuries, and severely contaminated wounds. Other open injuries such as abrasions and puncture wounds are similar to lacerations and are included in worker’s compensation injury cases.
What to Do if You Suffer a Laceration at a Construction Site
Construction workers are always at risk of sustaining severe injuries. Some of these risks are made worse by the rushed deadlines and the dangerous machines used. Sustaining a severe laceration injury can lead to devastating effects such as inability to work and high treatment costs.
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put in place stringent safety rules for the construction industry, accidents and injuries still happen. Some of these accidents are caused by negligence, carelessness, and incompetence. For this reason, worker compensation laws were formed.
The worker compensation law protects construction workers who have suffered severe injuries at the site. The law helps workers claim compensation for lost wages and to cover their medical bills.
If you have suffered severe laceration injuries at a construction site due to negligence or unsafe equipment, contact an experienced construction accident lawyer to claim compensation. It is essential to know your rights as a construction worker.