Construction Sites Injuries
Construction workers are exposed to very dangerous conditions and potentially serious injuries on an ongoing basis. The work is very risky. In fact, in 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 774 construction accident deaths occurred, which accounted for more than 18 percent of all on-the-job deaths in that year, alone.
Following that, in 2012, there was a slight increase to 775 deaths, representing 19.6 percent of all on-the-job deaths that year. Statistics also revealed that four out of every 100 construction workers suffered a non-fatal injury on the job every year. These are the last available statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
More recently, in 2015, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reported that 4,836 workers were killed on the job that year, which is the equivalent of 3.4 per deaths for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. More than 93 construction workers died per week—or 13 per day—on average, according to OSHA. This is the last year in which OSHA has released statistics.
Also, according to OSHA, out of the 4,379 worker deaths in private industry during calendar year 2015, a total of 937 (21.4 percent) were in construction. In other words, one out of every five deaths in 2015 took place in construction. The key causes of what OSHA described as “private sector” deaths—not including highway crashes—in the construction industry were falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and what are known as “caught-in/between” accidents, a group of accident types that OSHA describes as the “Fatal Four.”
OSHA’s Fatal Four were responsible for 64.2 percent of all construction worker deaths in 2015. A caught-in/between involves construction worker deaths when the worker becomes caught in or compressed by equipment, objects, or vehicles and struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structures, equipment, or other material.
Construction’s “Fatal Four” broke down in 2015 as:
- Falls: 364 of 937 total deaths in construction or 38.8 percent
- Struck by object: 90 or 9.6 percent
- Electrocutions: 81 or 8.6 percent
- Caught-in/between: 67 or 7.2 percent
Dangers Construction Workers Face
Typically, when a construction worker suffers an injury, that jury is covered by workers’ compensation; however, workers’ compensation insurance is often not enough to cover potentially serious construction site accidents.
Building materials, tools, and machinery are all present at construction work sites, which means that construction workers are potentially facing significant hazards throughout their workdays, including accidents occurring from, or due to, the great heights from which many often work. Workers may be hurt due to slips and falls, falling debris, misplaced materials or objects.
In fact, 10 percent of all building location deaths are attributed to workers hit by objects; 78 people died in this manner during the study period—becoming caught between objects and materials, fires and explosions, machinery accidents, overexertion, heat stroke, machinery accidents, and trench collapses.
Specifically, the top 10 most frequently cited standards by federal OSHA during fiscal year 2016, which was from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 (the last year for which these statistics were published):
- Fall protection, construction
- Hazard communication standard, general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
- Respiratory protection, general industry
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry
- Ladders, construction
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
- Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry
- Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry
Workers may also be victims of vehicular accidents. These occur when construction workers are hit by a passing vehicle or truck. Workers are also subject to falls from extreme heights or scaffolding and insufficient communication systems warning construction workers of hazards (the second most common violation discovered by OSHA). Electrocutions comprised the third most-common cause of death at construction sites and led to 66 deaths—or nine percent of all deaths—during the time frame that was studied.
The most common federal regulation violation involved inadequate safety on scaffolding, which is also among the top three most common violations, according to OSHA. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates these accidents comprise 34 percent of all on-the-job construction worker deaths. According to OSHA, 278 workers fell to their deaths in 2012, which accounted for 36 percent of construction deaths in that year.
Parker Waichman LLP is a national law firm with decades of experience representing workers in lawsuits over occupational hazards and accidents that have occurred at a construction site.
Construction Negligence Law, Labor Law
It is not unusual for third-party contractors to be working at a construction site. Under ordinary negligence law, an injured worker is able to bring a lawsuit against a third-party contractor due to unsafe conditions that allegedly led to the worker’s injury over which the third-party was in control and was either aware, or should have been aware, was dangerous.
Negligent construction may lead to a variety of types of lawsuits involving a wide array of parties. The basics of negligent construction lawsuits involve property damage caused by negligent construction and personal injury due to negligent construction.
In construction, workers perform difficult physical labor, sometimes at great heights or using heavy machinery. In fact, there are consistently more work-related injuries in construction every year than in just about any other industry. Construction accidents may lead to worker and non-worker injuries. In most personal injury lawsuits, whether by a worker or non-worker, some or all of the following damages are available to an injured person, including lost wages, future lost wages, medical bills, future medical bills, pain and suffering over the pain and agony of the injuries and/or death(s), and loss of normal life.
Because negligent construction lawsuits may involve and draw on various sources of law, navigation of the complex legal issues that generally arise in negligent construction cases, injured parties—or the survivors of deceased parties—should seek the advice of a qualified attorney, such as the attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP who have decades of deep and successful experience in construction accident personal injury law.
Legal Help for Construction Accident Victims in New York
If you or someone you know was injured or died due to the negligence of others in the workplace, you may have valuable legal rights. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a construction site accident lawsuit.
For more information, please call us at call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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