Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Construction is one of those jobs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly one in five workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry.
Of the more than 990 workers who died in construction site accidents, more than half were involved in what OSHA calls the “Fatal Four.” Safety experts estimate that if the construction industry could eliminate the Fatal Four, more than 600 lives could be saved every year. Beyond the hundreds of construction workers’ lives lost every year, thousands more suffer painful and debilitating injuries in job-related accidents.
Here is a closer look at the Fatal Four construction accidents:
Falls accounted for nearly 40 percent of construction worker fatal accidents in 2016. Most falls happen when workers slip to a lower level, maybe falling off a roof, scaffold, or ladder. Fall injuries include lacerations, fractures, and head, neck and spine injuries.
Slips, trips, and falls happen when debris, tools, and equipment are not stored properly out of the paths of workers.
Contact injuries happen when workers are hit or contact a rolling, flying, sliding, or swinging object. In construction, heavy objects and equipment can come loose or fall off a truck or crane.
Construction workers move and utilize large machinery and equipment every day. Even with safety training, preparation, and caution, things can still go wrong.
Of the Fatal Four, electrocutions are the third most common type of construction site accidents. Electrocution accidents happen when workers contact energized sources or overhead power lines, as well as from the misuse of cords and wires. Burns from electricity are the most common type of electrocution hazard and are caused by the heat of electric current flowing through the body.
Workers who become caught-in or between objects or machinery can be severely injured. These types of accidents happen when workers are stacking heavy materials, excavating underground, or when clothing, jewelry, or hair gets caught in moving parts. Injuries can range from relatively minor to potentially fatal.
Some accidents are simply unavoidable. But with comprehensive safety training, hazard awareness, safety equipment, and safe labor practices, many construction site accidents can be prevented.
When employers and employees follow OSHA safety guidelines and procedures for work site safety, the risk of injury and death among construction workers is greatly reduced.
Workers who have been injured on the construction site may face an uphill battle to recovery. Beyond the physical pain and trauma, the financial cost of a serious injury can be enormous. Let an experienced Pittsburgh work injury lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. advocate for you. We protect injured workers’ right to compensation after a construction injury. You can schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation by calling 800-243-6095 or use the convenient online contact form. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients in and around western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.