In 2014, one in five on-the-job deaths occurred in the construction industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this equated to 874 deaths. Construction’s Fatal Four caused 58.1 percent of all construction site deaths in 2014; eliminating the factors that cause them could save more than 500 lives annually.
The Fatal Four are:
About 40 percent of construction deaths result from falls. Almost 350 contractors and other workers died after falling in 2014. Falls are very common due to the nature of the job. Construction workers often climb ladders, use scaffolding, and work on roofs and near windows. While tripping and slipping are also common, falls from a height are the most deadly.
In finished buildings, protections are in place to prevent visitors from electrocution. During construction, however, many of these protections are not yet in place. Electrocution led to the death of 74 workers in the construction industry in 2014, or 8.5 percent of all construction site fatalities. It is important to note that a worker does not need to work directly with electricity to be electrocuted. Some may come into contact with power lines or unfinished wiring while doing unrelated work.
Struck by Object
More than 70 construction workers died when struck by an object in 2014, or 8.4 percent of all industry fatalities. Construction sites often call for people to work on several floors at once, or to move equipment between levels. Dropped tools can seriously injure or kill those on lower levels, as can being struck by moving building materials or beams. Heavy machinery may play a role in these accidents, including cranes, bulldozers, and forklifts.
A dozen American workers died when they were caught in or between objects on construction sites in 2014. These accidents comprised 1.4 percent of all construction site deaths. Being caught in or between occurs when a worker becomes trapped in, under, or behind a large object. This often occurs when heavy machinery, tools, or building materials pin a worker against the floor or a wall. This can crush the worker, causing serious or fatal injuries.
How can I avoid these accidents?
Since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began regulating safety on construction sites in 1970, workplace fatalities have declined by more than 66 percent. There is no doubt that OSHA guidelines save lives, but workers and employers must follow them in order for the guidelines to be effective. Following all regulations for construction sites — including those for fall protection gear — is vital to reducing industry fatalities.
How can Montero Law help?
The construction site attorneys at Montero Law works with the families of those killed in construction site accidents, helping to evaluate cases, file wrongful death claims, and ensure clients receive fair compensation. If you are considering filing a personal injury or wrongful death suit after a construction accident in Florida, contact us today at 954-767-6500.