Denlea & Carton


November 21, 2023

Common Heavy Machinery Accidents on Construction Sites

Heavy Machinery Accidents are Common but Complex

Heavy machinery accidents happen frequently on construction sites, although the exact statistics of these accidents are not independently tracked from other construction accidents. The fact remains that there are many causes of common heavy machinery accidents on construction sites, and sometimes the liable party is not immediately obvious.

Our award-winning firm has earned many accolades for our work with construction accident victims and other personal injury cases. We are able to analyze the facts, working with world-class experts, to find the real cause of the accident to determine the liable party. Contact us today for more information, or keep reading to learn more about these accidents.

What is the Most Common Heavy Machinery Used on Construction Sites?

Backhoes, dump trucks, and forklifts are the most common types of heavy equipment used on construction sites. In fact, backhoes and trucks were responsible for half of all excavation site fatalities in 2020. 

Other types of heavy machinery used in construction include:

  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers
  • Cranes
  • Trenchers
  • Compactors
  • Loaders

Each of these types of heavy equipment poses different hazards on construction sites. For example, falls are more likely when operating cranes. Employers have a responsibility to make this equipment safe by providing well-maintained equipment, protective gear, and adequate training.

What are the Most Common Types of Heavy Machinery Accidents?

There are few statistics for heavy equipment accidents specifically, as construction accident statistics typically focus on fatalities. However, the construction statistics from the CDC give some insight to the most common types of heavy equipment accidents on construction sites. 

Struck-by accidents make up 15.4% of construction fatalities and are very common when heavy machinery is in use. Caught-in accidents make up 5.4% of construction fatalities and are also almost exclusively heavy equipment accidents. The other two most common types of construction accidents are falls (36.4% of construction fatalities) and electrocution (7.2% of fatalities). 

What Causes Heavy Machinery Accidents on Construction Sites?

Many heavy machinery accidents are avoidable with proper precautions. 

The most common causes of heavy machinery accidents are:

  • Lack of protective equipment
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of fall protection or rollover protection
  • Improper assembly or installation
  • Failing to follow lock-out/tag-out procedures
  • Inadequate loading and unloading
  • Lack of a spotter or communication between workers
  • Lack of safety features on equipment
  • Improper maintenance
  • Ignored repair needs
  • Human error

Most of these are the responsibility of the employer. These types of construction accidents can lead to severe injuries that prevent you from returning to work. In some cases they can even result in death.

Who is Liable for Heavy Machinery Accidents on Construction Sites?

Heavy machinery accidents on construction sites are complex cases because many entities may be involved. Failure to maintain equipment could be the fault of the equipment owner if the machinery was leased. Likewise, improper assembly could fall under the responsibility of the manufacturer.

Other potentially liable parties include:

  • Subcontractors
  • General contractors
  • Property owners

However, in most cases, your employer will be liable. The state of New York requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay for these accidents.

What Compensation Can I Get for a Heavy Machinery Accident?

In workers’ compensation claims, the state of New York allows for compensation for:

  • Medical care, including future care
  • Lost wages, including loss of livelihood, if you are unable to return to work
  • Survivor’s benefits to pay death claims in case of fatality

However, if an entity other than your employer is found to be at fault for the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that party. Personal injury claims may also allow you to gain compensation for other losses and damages, such as pain and suffering.

Trust Denlea & Carton with Your Construction Accident Case

In short, heavy machinery accidents on construction sites are common and sometimes lead to severe injury. When that happens, you deserve compensation. Workers compensation insurance companies may give you a lowball offer, and sometimes the employer may not be the only liable party.

It takes the experience and knowledge of a firm like Denlea & Carton to navigate these cases, discover the root cause, and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (914) 368-7168 to schedule a free consultation.


James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

News & Articles

2 Westchester Park Dr #410
White Plains, NY 10604

Map and Driving Directions

Phone: (914) 331-0100
Email: [email protected]

    Contact Us