Construction workers face real risks every day when they are on job sites. Some can even be fatal. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately one out of every five fatal injures experienced in workplaces happen to construction workers. Companies that employ these individuals share a responsibility with the workers to be aware of these hazards and take steps to prevent them.
OSHA reports that three out of five fatal construction injuries are caused by falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, and being caught in or between objects. Preventing these injuries would save hundreds of lives every year and eliminating the fatal four would save over 400 lives every year.
Falls and Electrocutions
Falls rank highest on the list, causing 35 percent of yearly construction employee fatalities. They can result from unsafely positioned ladders, unprotected sharp edges, slippery or unstable walking surfaces, scaffolds, and holes in walls or floors.
Electrocutions count for 10 percent of construction industry workplace fatalities. Faulty connections, knocking into power lines, and loose wires present significant dangers to construction workers and cause burns, falls, electric shock, and fatal electrocutions.
Struck By Object/Caught In or Between
The third most common fatal injury is being struck by an object, which is usually attributed to a worker being hit by a moving vehicle or other machinery. This accident accounts for eight percent of construction worker fatalities. The most frequently cited injury involves workers being struck by moving vehicles and other machinery. Other objects cited are ladders, scaffolds, bricks, and tools, plus items moved by cranes or stored in higher locations.
Four percent of fatal construction accidents involve workers caught in or between objects, which occur when the body is stuck between moving machinery parts, in collapsed material, rigging accidents, or equipment rollovers.
Serious Construction Injuries
Not all construction worker accidents are fatal, but they can be quite serious, affecting the worker’s quality of life. Heavy equipment like dumpsters and forklifts can topple over, for example. Nail guns can misfire, and fires can start from flammable chemicals and certain types of explosions. In addition to these, workers can suffer heat stroke, frostbite, and repetitive motion injuries.
Toxic chemicals and materials are another concern, since they can lead to diseases like pneumoconiosis, which is a chronic dust disease that affects the lungs. Unsafe construction sites can have high levels of lead and asbestos, which lead to fatal diseases that present themselves over time.
The U.S. Department of Labor stated that 21.1 percent of private industry worker fatalities reported in 2016 were construction workers. Many of these were likely related to employer negligence. Construction sites present many OSHA violations, which lead to unsafe work environments for employees. Some of the most frequent violations cited are lack of fall protection, unsafe scaffolding, inadequate respiratory protection, improperly controlled hazardous energy, unsafe ladders and machinery, and insufficient employee training.
Atlantic City Construction Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Represent Injured Construction Workers
At the D’Amato Law Firm, our Atlantic City construction accident lawyers help victims and their families affected by traumatic construction accidents. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. With an office located in Egg Harbor Township, we serve clients throughout southern New Jersey.