Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 150,000 construction site accidents each year. Many of these accidents can leave workers permanently injured and unable to work in the field. In fatal accidents, families can be left without a source of financial support.
In this article, we’re going to go over the causes of construction accidents, how to stay safe, and what to do if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Commonly Used Statistics report, in 2018 21.1% of the year’s 4,779 on-the-job deaths were in construction. That is approximately one out of every five worker deaths. The following are the four most common reasons construction site deaths occur.
In 2018, 338 of the construction deaths that were reported were caused by falls. Workers fall from scaffolding, buildings, cranes, and other equipment. During the period between 2008 and 2018, more than 3,500 workers died in falls.
Being Struck By an Object
In 2018, 112 construction workers died after being struck by an object. On construction sites, there are many heavy objects that can become deadly when they are dropped from overhead. These include tools, bricks, and other equipment and materials.
In 2018, 86 construction workers died from electrocution. This can happen when workers are near live power lines or when they fail to notice the power lines overhead. Between 1992 and 2003, an average of 143 construction workers were fatally electrocuted each year.
Being Caught Between Objects
In 2018, 55 construction workers died after being trapped or crushed between objects. This can include being caught in a structure that has collapsed or being crushed between two heavy pieces of building materials.
OSHA estimates that eliminating these four causes would save the lives of 591 construction workers in the United States each year. This is why it is critical to report any violations you see on a construction site. Holding construction companies accountable could save your life and the lives of many others.
6 Tips to Stay Safe
Construction has inherent risks, but many accidents are preventable. The following are steps you can take to improve your safety and lessen your chances of being hurt or killed on the job.
- Pay close attention during health and safety training
- Wear personal protective equipment, including your hard hat and steel-toed boots
- Closely inspect your tools and equipment
- Make sure scaffolding is correctly assembled and maintained
- Heed any warning signs posted on the site
- Stay in communication, using cell phones as necessary
One of the most important safety tips you can follow is to avoid working for companies that take safety shortcuts to save money. If you realize a company you are working for is willing to endanger your life in the name of profits, it’s best to resign and report them.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured
If you have been injured or you are the survivor of a construction worker who died on the job, you have financial options. If you believe the accident was caused by the negligence of a construction company, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. Visit morellilaw.com to learn more about whether or not you have a viable case.
Injured parties may also be able to receive temporary or permanent disability payments through the Social Security Administration. If you are a family member who is caring for a disabled construction worker, you may also be able to become a paid family caregiver if it’s an option in your state. Paid caregivers may receive an hourly or flat rate for the time they spend caring for a disabled loved one.