Anyone who works in the construction industry knows that construction sites can be dangerous. While construction companies take preventive measures to keep their employees safe, construction workers work with potentially hazardous equipment and machinery, and even a simple act of negligence can lead to an accident.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,251 workers in the private industry were killed in 2014, of which 874 were in the construction industry. Construction workers accounted for 20.5% of all deaths, or 1 in 5 work deaths. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites in 2014 were falls, electrocution, struck by object and caught-in/between.
Eliminating these four causes, known as the Fatal Four, would save 508 American workers’ lives every year, OSHA reports. By garnering a deeper understanding of the Fatal Four and what causes these types of accidents, the construction industry can reduce the risks of them occurring. Here is a brief overview of the most common construction accidents:
Falls are the leading cause of death in the U.S. construction industry, accounting for 39.9% of all construction industry deaths in 2014. Construction works are often climbing to great heights and are at risk of falling from roofs, ladders, scaffolding and cranes. Poor scaffold construction, improperly used ladders and unprotected sides can contribute to fall accidents.
At 8.5%, electrocutions were the second highest cause of construction deaths last year. While construction workers should only work near an electrical power circuit when wearing the proper protection, injuries can occur from direct contact with power lines and the improper use of equipment and extension cords.
Struck by Object
The accidents in this category, which accounted for 8.4% of deaths in 2014, can occur when the tools being used above the worker are not properly secured. These injuries can be caused by falling objects, cranes and unstable walls.
Construction workers are at risk of getting caught in or between large vehicles, walls or concrete, and these types of accidents led to 12 deaths in 2014. These accidents can occur when a supervisor is not adequately managing a work site.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a construction accident, contact a NJ workers comp lawyer at Hyberg, White & Mann right away: 609-407-1000. We will assess your case and see that you receive the medical and financial benefits you are warranted.
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