Most fatal accidents in the construction industry occur on the job site. Almost 10% involve falling objects or equipment. In addition to the possibility of falling objects, workers are at risk of being struck by heavy equipment. Many fatal accidents occur on construction sites because workers are required to wear protective equipment such as hard hats. The death toll from construction-related accidents is higher than the national average. Read on to learn more about the most common construction accident.
The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) records workplace fatalities. In 2016, over 5,000 workers died in construction-related accidents. That is 3.5 deaths per every 100,000 full-time workers. That number translates to about one death every two days and over one hundred per week. Despite this high death rate, workers still suffered injuries on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tens of thousands of construction workers were injured in construction-related accidents. These injuries often led to death.
The “fatal four” of construction-related accidents are falling from a height or being struck by a piece of equipment. According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, accounting for nearly half of the fatalities on the job. Other accidents caused by falls were falling from a ladder or from a roof, being struck by a piece of equipment, and being caught between heavy machinery.
Electrocution is another major cause of death in construction-related accidents. It can cause a wide range of injuries, ranging from burns to cardiac arrest. The causes of electrocution in construction-related accidents are usually unsafe work practices or unsafe equipment. Caught-in-between accidents account for the fourth-highest death rate in construction-related accidents. These accidents occur when a worker accidentally comes into contact with overhead power lines, equipment, or machinery. Another common cause is improperly using extension cords.
Caught-in injuries result from being squeezed between objects. Crushing injuries can occur when a construction worker is caught between two objects. A worker’s clothing may be caught in moving equipment or sliding materials. This type of accident occurs most often at construction sites that do not have guards on machinery and equipment. The collapse of scaffolding and unprotected excavation sites are other common causes of caught-in injuries.
Another type of accident that can kill a construction worker involves falling objects. Construction sites are notoriously dangerous, and workers may be working on tall structures and at great heights. A bucket of bricks can fall off a scaffold and strike a worker below. Electrical equipment can also electrocute or burn workers. In the United States alone, construction workers sustain about $1 trillion in damages every year. It’s no wonder that construction accident fatalities are so common – there are many fatal accidents.
Fall-related accidents are the number one cause of death in the construction industry. Falls account for about 40% of construction worker fatalities. These accidents can occur due to unprotected roof edges, poorly constructed scaffolding, or unprotected trenches. Employers are responsible for providing safe working conditions and adequate training for workers to avoid falling accidents. Additionally, OSHA records deaths and injuries in the construction industry.
Falls and electrocution are the leading causes of death and injury in construction jobs. Overhead and buried power lines pose a significant risk to construction workers. A worker may also become electrocuted by an unprotected tool, such as an extension cord. The consequences of an electrical shock can include seizures, loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest. Other common accidents can include trench collapse and fires. One cubic yard of soil weighs about the same weight as a car.
Fortunately, employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees. In Alabama, most employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The insurance pays injured workers two-thirds of their gross weekly wages, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and death benefits for dependent family members. Unfortunately, this process can be frustrating. Injuries sustained during construction may be attributed to a wide range of factors.
Injuries sustained during construction often result from improper use of equipment. Heavy lifting puts tremendous pressure on the back and lower back muscles. The resulting injuries may require surgery and months of physical therapy. If workers’ compensation insurance is inadequate, you may be left with a significant medical bill, and you may not receive compensation for lost income, pain, and suffering. This is especially true if the accident was the fault of a third party.