There are several ways for construction site injuries to occur, but certain types of accidents happen on a more frequent basis. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government agency that supervises workplace safety, has named four general types of accidents that were responsible for over 60% of all construction worker deaths in 2014. Regardless of the many rules, regulations and safety procedures, there are in place, injuries and death are unfortunately common on construction sites. The four most common types of accidents that occur are:
- Falls: In 2014, falls accounted for almost 40% of all construction worker fatalities. During 2015, OSHA’s 10 most commonly issued citations for construction sites involved equipment that could lead to falls such as inadequate fall protection, scaffolding problems and unsafe ladders.
- Electrocution: Electrocutions are the second most common type of fatal construction site accident, accounting for over 8% of construction worker fatalities in 2014. Many of the problems are related to electrical components, wiring methods and other kinds of electrical equipment.
- Struck by Object: The number of fatalities due to being struck by objects on construction sites is about the same as fatalities from electrocution. On construction sites, people work on various levels and beams are moved around from place to place. Without the appropriate safety precautions, it would not be difficult to be stuck by a falling object or pushed, thrown or knocked over by a construction beam.
- Caught-In/Between: There are many ways a construction worker fatality could occur on a construction site. A worker’s limb might get caught between two immovable objects or in a piece of equipment or get crushed by falling objects or debris.
Other fatalities can occur when workers work directly on a road, or close to a road, and get hit by moving vehicles. Construction worker deaths on a job site also happen when there is exposure to hazardous materials, which can lead to respiratory illnesses.
To prevent some accidents from occurring, walkways and work areas should be free of obstructions and slippery surfaces. Guardrails and scaffolding should be frequently inspected and repaired immediately. Harnesses and rope grabs are helpful. Fences, barricades and safety nets help reduce the number of objects falling on workers. All workers should have electrical safety training. Vehicle only areas should have signage indicating that workers should not be walking or working in that area, and all vehicles should be inspected regularly.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed on a construction site, contact the experienced, skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. Call us at 800-529-2676 or email [email protected].