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Common Injuries Suffered by Construction Workers


Construction workers are exposed to dangerous working conditions and are prone to a wide variety of injuries, some of which are life-altering and even fatal.

Missouri worker

The causes of construction site injuries are also numerous and varied. Understanding the most common causes of work-related construction injuries and the legal remedies available for injured employees can go a long way in helping workers stay safe and protect their rights.

Falling Objects

Objects falling from above can cause serious injuries to construction workers. For example, tools kept at a higher level or construction material that is not securely fastened can fall and injure the person working at a lower level.


Falls are one of the most common types of injuries suffered by construction workers. A worker can fall from a crane, scaffolding, ladders, roofs, and other elevations and suffer injuries.

Crushed In-Between and Backovers

Construction workers can become crushed between moving vehicles and a wall or between huge machinery. They can also be run over by a moving vehicle such as a truck. Such injuries can be devastating and often lead to death. Such injuries can be a result of the site supervisor’s negligence.

Equipment-Related Accidents

Heavy machinery used at construction sites can be dangerous, especially if it fails. For example, a crane or forklift may become defective and fail to work properly, causing injury to the operator or a worker standing underneath. If the construction injury is a result of defective equipment, then the worker may be able to seek compensation by way of a product liability lawsuit.


Construction workers are often exposed to hazardous conditions such as leaking pipes, exposed electrical wires, and inflammable chemicals that can cause fires or explosions.

Building or Trench Collapses

One common type of accident that can occur on a construction site is when the trench that is being constructed collapses on the people working inside it. There have been cases when the building that is being constructed or demolished collapsed unexpectedly, injuring and killing the workers inside.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Due to the nature of their work, construction workers are prone to injuries related to repetitive stress or overexertion, including:

  • joint and muscle damage due to overuse
  • repetitive stress injuries
  • heat stress that can cause heart, brain, or kidney failure
  • frostbite or hypothermia caused by working in extreme cold

Chemical Exposure and Respiratory Problems

Construction workers may be exposed to dangerous chemicals such as lead and asbestos. They are also prone to respiratory disorders such as silicosis, pneumoconiosis, and black lung disease.

Why Construction Work Often Leads to Back Pain

There are many ways that back pain can occur on a construction site. The most common cause is lifting heavy objects, such as beams or pipes. Other causes include:

Repetitive Motions

Whether it’s digging, hammering, or lifting heavy objects, the constant repetition of these motions can lead to strain on the muscles and spine. Over time, this strain can lead to pain and inflammation.

Poor Posture

From standing atop a ladder all day to hunching over to hammer in nails, poor posture can cause back pain in construction workers. The spine is designed to be in an “S” shape, with a slight curve in the lower back. When the spine is out of alignment, it puts stress on the muscles and ligaments that support it. This can lead to pain and inflammation. 

Additionally, poor posture can cause the discs in the spine to compress, leading to even more pain. Unfortunately, construction workers who spend their days working in awkward positions are especially susceptible to this type of back pain.


While power tools such as jackhammers and saws are essential for many construction projects, they can also be a major source of back pain for workers. The vibration from these tools can jar the spine and muscles, causing long-term damage. In addition, the constant bending and twisting required to use these tools can also lead to back pain. Over time, the cumulative effect of these forces can take a significant toll on the back, causing chronic pain and disability. 

Examples of Common Back Injuries

Now that we’ve looked into the common causes of back pain among construction workers, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common injuries. The most common type of back injury in construction workers is a strain, which occurs when your muscles or tendons are stretched too far. Strains often happen when you lift heavy objects without using your legs which are stronger than your back muscles to do most of the work. Other common types of injuries include:

  • Sprains: This occurs when your ligaments (the tissues that connect your bones) are stretched too far or torn. Sprains are often caused by falls from heights or twists movements.
  • Herniated disc: This happens when one of the discs between your vertebrae ruptures or breaks open. Disks act like cushions between the vertebrae, and herniated disks can cause pain because they press on nearby nerves.
  • Fractured vertebrae: This can happen if you fall from a height or experience a direct blow to your spine. While fractures usually heal with time, they can be very painful and may require surgery to repair them.

If you have been injured on a construction site, it is important to consult a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney to understand your legal rights and seek the compensation that you deserve.

Updated: May 16, 2024
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