A worker died from a work-related injury every 99 minutes in 2019, the highest rate since 2017, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Older workers and Hispanic/Latino workers saw jumps in the number of fatal workplace injuries. For workers in the construction industry, the risk for fatal workplace accidents is very high, accounting for more than 20% of all workplace fatalities.
Construction workers face many risks on the job that could lead to injury or, even worse, fatal consequences. Construction sites are full of heavy equipment, unfinished wiring, scaffolding, ladders and a myriad of other tools and equipment that make for an unstable environment. While there are many ways construction workers could be injured on the job, there are four types of construction accidents that account for the majority of deaths.
Falls are the leading cause of construction site accidents resulting in injury or death and accounted for more than 31% of all construction fatalities, according to the Occupational Health Safety Administration (OSHA). Workers on roofs, scaffolding and ladders more than six feet above the ground are at greatest risk for serious injury or death. Unfortunately, in some cases the injuries could be prevented if the worker had received training and proper safety equipment.
#2: Struck By Accidents
Machines and trucks are constantly moving in and around construction sites which create hazards for workers who could be struck by an object. There are four different types of struck-by accidents:
- Struck by flying object
- Struck by swinging object
- Struck by falling object
- Struck by rolling object
Examples of struck by accidents often include cranes, nail guns, pieces of machinery, and trucks.
An electrical hazard on a construction site can be anything that leaves a worker exposed to burns, electrocution, shock, fire or explosions. Overhead and buried power lines are especially dangerous because of the large amount of voltage they are carrying. Cranes, ladders and bucket trucks can all reach overhead power lines. Defective equipment or tools as well as unsafe use of extension and flexible cords also contribute to fatal injuries.
#4: Caught In-Between Accidents
OSHA classifies accidents in which a person is injured or dies because of crushing injuries between two objects. Examples of a caught between accident include a worker or his or her clothing being pulled into or caught in machinery or equipment which could result in catastrophic injury or asphyxiation. Construction workers in specialty trades like excavation are at risk for caught accidents like trench collapses and cave-ins.
Construction Accident Liability
When someone is killed in a workplace accident, the surviving family members are not only suffering through grief and despair but may also be concerned about their financial well-being. Most workers are covered by workers compensation which offers death benefits to survivors, regardless of fault for the accident. However, if your loved one has suffered a fatal construction accident because of another party’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for wrongful death.
Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law Is Here for You
If your loved one died in a construction site accident, contact an attorney to discuss your options. At Brandon J. Broderick, we specialize in both personal injury and workers compensation and have the experience to help you navigate the process. Our attorneys approach every case with compassion and empathy. Contact us today for a free consultation.