What Are the Long-Term Effects of Construction Accidents on Workers?

A man in California injured from a construction accident.

The potential long-term effects of construction accidents include physical and mental health problems for workers. From broken bones and traumatic brain injuries to chronic medical issues, construction site mishaps can cause life-altering problems. Keep reading to learn more about the impact on workers’ health after construction accidents. Along the way, we’ll also discuss steps you can take if you’re injured in an accident.

Common Construction Accident Injuries

There’s no denying construction is a dangerous job. According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nearly 1 in 5 workplace deaths occurred in the construction industry during 2021. Nearly one-third of those deaths were due to falls, slips, and trips. In fact, the construction industry accounted for over 46% of all fatal falls, slips, and trips in 2021. 

In addition to the fall risk caused by tricky conditions (such as attempting to balance on thin scaffolding, carrying or operating heavy equipment while traversing slippery surfaces, etc.), there are also a number of other dangers on construction sites. From dangerous equipment to loud noises that can damage your hearing, there are seemingly endless ways to get hurt as a construction worker. 

Some of the most common types of construction accident injury include:

  • Burns;
  • Hearing loss; 
  • Falls, slips, and trips; 
  • Traumatic brain injury; and
  • Stress injuries from repetitive motions. 

And the list doesn’t stop there. Construction workers can also cut themselves on sharp objects, suffer broken bones due to worksite accidents, and more. 


Burns are a common injury suffered by construction professionals. From chemicals and leaking steam pipes to hot equipment and open flames, workers are exposed to several factors that can cause severe burns. 

Hearing Loss

If you’ve ever been on a construction site, you know that they are extremely loud. There are the ear-piercing sounds of heavy machinery at work, the clanging of metal, the banging of tools, and more. 

Working in this noisy environment can lead to temporary and even permanent hearing loss. Not only that, but all the noise on construction sites can make it hard to hear verbal warnings and alarms (thus leading to other potential injuries). 

Falls, Slips, and Trips

As we’ve already stated, falls, slips, and trips are the most common construction site injuries. These can be caused by a wide range of elements, such as: 

  • Narrow scaffolding that makes it difficult to balance,
  • Slippery surfaces that make it easier to fall,
  • Cables that are easy to trip over, and
  • Many other factors and conditions.

Depending on the height you fall from, where you land, and what protective gear you’re wearing, these falls can result in minor abrasions or sprains, broken bones, serious head injuries, and death. 

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious and potentially lingering result of certain construction accidents. From falling and hitting your head to being hit by a piece of heavy machinery, there are several ways you can suffer traumatic brain injury on a construction site. 

Stress Injuries from Repetitive Motions

One problem that can linger long after you first hurt yourself is stress injury from repeated motions. Construction workers often have specific jobs in which they perform the same function over and over (such as hammering nails, bending and lifting, and operating or carrying heavy tools). 

These repetitive motions can cause joint and spinal malfunctions, tendon damage, muscle pain, and many other issues that may lead to long-term pain and mobility problems. 

Construction Accidents and Chronic Health Issues

In addition to immediate physical injuries, construction risks also include chronic health issues. For example, construction carries the largest burden of occupational cancer among all industrial sectors. This is because construction workers are routinely exposed to a wide variety of dangerous chemicals and fumes. Construction professionals who have worked in the industry for many years may have even been exposed to asbestos. Along with cancer, these same chemicals can cause long-term lung damage and skin problems. 

Construction site injuries and chemical exposure can lead to chronic health issues such as: 

  • Skin dermatitis,
  • Long-term back problems,
  • Ongoing joint and body pain,
  • A higher risk of developing cancer, 
  • Difficulties with walking and mobility, and
  • A higher risk of developing illnesses like COPD and pneumonia.

And that’s just a small sampling of the long-lasting health risks of construction injuries. When it comes to suffering serious damage thanks to noxious chemicals, major falls, and dangerous equipment, there’s virtually no end to the potential long-term effects workers may experience. 

Construction Accidents and Mental Health Problems

Along with acute injury and chronic health problems, construction accidents can also lead to mental health issues. As a result of stress on the job, construction site injuries, and chronic pain or illness due to their work, construction workers often suffer from: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
  • Anxiety;,
  • Depression, and
  • Difficulty sleeping. 

These problems may be compounded depending on the type of injury. For instance, traumatic brain injury can lead to severe depression, changes in personality, and trouble managing emotions. 

Construction Accidents and Financial Difficulties

Construction site injuries can lead to major financial difficulties. A severe injury may require you to miss a significant amount of work. Furthermore, issues like PTSD, anxiety, and depression can make it difficult to return to the job site. And of course, injuries and chronic health issues can both result in skyrocketing medical bills. 

Ways to Avoid Injury as a Construction Worker

There are several ways to mitigate your risk of injury as a construction worker. They include: 

  • Always wear a hard hat when on a construction site,
  • Taking any certification and safety courses required to perform a job,
  • Wearing other protective equipment such as gloves and safety glasses,
  • Using earplugs or headphones to protect your ears from loud construction sites,
  • Reading safety manuals and following protocols for any equipment you use, and
  • Watching your step and being mindful of every move you make on a construction site. 

By taking all appropriate and required precautions when working construction, you can help protect yourself from unnecessary harm. It will also be helpful to show that you followed protocol if you are ever injured in a construction accident and take legal action against your employer or another party.  

What to Do If You’re Injured in a Construction Accident

If you suffer acute or long-term damage from a construction accident, it’s best to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the immense complexities of the legal landscape. 

Long-Term Effects of Construction Accidents: Final Thoughts 

The long-term effects of construction accidents can be life-changing. From severe immediate injuries to chronic pain, ongoing health problems, and debilitating mental health struggles, construction workers face myriad risks. However, by taking the proper safety precautions, you can at least mitigate these dangers to the best of your ability. 

If you’re injured in a construction accident or have lasting problems due to work in the construction field, contact Henderson Law today. We have over 25 years of trial lawyer experience, with a focus on personal injury claims. Our skilled attorneys will be happy to assess your situation and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.