A construction worker died from injuries sustained on the job. The truck driver was killed after becoming pinned between a concrete highway barrier and an excavator on a highway interchange. After being freed from the excavator and transported to the hospital, the worker later died due to his injuries. This tragic incident is not uncommon, as the construction industry is home to some of the deadliest occupations in the country; however, that does not mean workplace deaths like this one should be overlooked as the norm.
Common Construction Dangers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nearly 5,000 fatal workplace accidents occurred in 2018. Of those, 21% or about 1,000 fatalities were within the construction industry, highlighting the urgent need for safety in this sector.
With population growth, advances in technology, and environmental concerns, the construction industry won’t slow down anytime soon, as the need for residential, commercial, and infrastructure projects continue to grow. With an increase in construction projects and the resulting need for more workers, construction companies must increase and enforce safety training and protocols to lessen the possibility of workplace injuries and deaths.
Workers caught-in, between, or pinned against equipment, barriers, or other structures on construction sites account for about 5.5% of construction worker deaths, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Accidents involving workers being caught-in or between structures constitute one of the four most common accident scenarios responsible for severely injuring or killing workers.
The leading cause of deaths and injuries for construction workers is falling. Of the 1,008 deaths recorded in the construction industry in 2018, OSHA cites falls as responsible for at least 338 deaths, or about 33.5% of total fatalities. The nature of construction requires workers to be suspended in the air on scaffolding, cherry pickers, and other equipment in a way that can cause serious injury or death if one were to fall from suspended heights. In addition, other outside objects or influences can be responsible for causing a worker to slip and fall, leading to their death.
Struck by Object
Workers being struck by objects – such as loose equipment, falling equipment, scaffolding, and other objects – is the second leading cause of serious injury or death to workers and accounted for 11% of fatalities.
Workers who come in contact with live wires and are electrocuted comprise the third largest group of construction fatalities. Electrocutions can happen when safety measures – such as keeping a safe distance from power lines and properly inspecting electrical outlets and power sources – are ignored.
While it is widely known that the construction industry has many factors that pose a threat to workers, it does not excuse the avoidable deaths seen daily throughout the industry. If companies followed safety regulations that are put in place to protect workers, rather than cutting corners to save time and money, workers would be at less risk for injuries or death. In eliminating the avoidable deaths associated with construction’s “fatal four,” more than 591 workers’ lives would be saved annually.
Construction Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one suffered a construction-related injury, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney who has the knowledge, resources, and experience to handle your case so you can focus on your recovery. To learn what Craft Law Firm can do for you, contact us today.