The construction industry has inherent hazards and risks, making it very important for construction workers to exercise caution when performing their assigned duties and tasks. Supervisors and foremen must also do everything within their power to enforce the safety standards issued by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Adhering to such standards of safety can help significantly reduce the number of on-site accidents, construction injuries and workplace fatalities.
The most common causes of construction site workplace fatalities, often referred to as the “fatal four,” were found to be responsible for more than half (58.7 percent) of 2013 construction worker deaths. The primary causes of fatal accidents in the construction industry are:
In addition to the number of fatalities that plague the construction industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 3.3 recordable cases out of every 100 construction workers involving some type of non-fatal occupational injury or illness.
Approximately 1.5 of these cases require the injured worker to take time off work, while 0.5 cases result in either a job transfer or restriction of duties.
The majority of construction site accident injuries occur as a result of falling objects, slip and fall accidents, scaffolding accidents, exposure to harmful or toxic chemicals, electric shocks, fires, explosions, malfunctioning equipment, improperly used materials or machinery, and inadequately trained workers.
The most common injuries sustained in these types of construction site accidents include:
Most construction site accidents are entirely preventable. When an accident on a construction site seriously injures or kills a worker, the victim (or the victim’s family) may be eligible to pursue workers’ compensation benefits through his or her employer. If an injury or fatality is caused by someone other than the worker’s employer, compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering can be sought through a third-party claim or lawsuit.
Where a worker is injured by a faulty piece of machinery, he or she may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages from the negligent manufacturer.
Are you a construction worker who has been injured on the job, or during the course of performing a work-related task? If so, you may be eligible to seek benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
It does not matter whether you were partially at fault for the injuries you sustained. Workers’ compensation can help with medical expenses, as well as wages lost due to time away from work. Only on extremely rare occasions can a worker sue his or her employer for work-related injuries. This is due to the fact that workers’ comp allows workers to collect benefits, regardless of who was at fault, in exchange for forfeiting the right to sue.
In cases where an accident is caused by a third party’s negligence, carelessness or neglect, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit or claim seeking damages.
A sub-contractor, property owner, or general contractor may cause an injury. Faulty equipment and defective machinery may also cause injury allowing a worker to pursue a third-party lawsuit in addition to workers’ comp benefits.