Construction: One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the US
Construction work in the United States is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous occupations. In fact, based on data from 2018, approximately 11 out of every 100,000 construction workers will die each year while on the job. (See US Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2018.) While transportation accidents lead as the most common way for workers to get injured, fatally or otherwise, construction accidents are never far behind. In fact, every year, nearly seven percent of construction workers will get injured at work and require time off to seek medical treatment and recuperate from his or her injuries.
With this many injuries come a lot of questions about whether unsafe working conditions are at fault. We’re here to help and have the answers to some of the questions we hear the most from people who want to know if they can get compensation for a work-related injury on a construction site.
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What are the most common fatal work-related accidents?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of all fatal work-related accidents involved transportation accidents. Common construction-related accidents such as slips and falls, accidents involving machinery, exposure to harmful substances or environments, and fires or explosions made up for approximately 45% of all other fatal accidents in 2018. While many of these types of accidents can occur off of a construction site, such as in a factory or warehouse, the point remains that the most common construction accidents make up a substantial percentage of the fatal work-related accidents in the United States every year.
What are the “fatal four” or the top four fatal construction accidents?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there are four types of construction accidents that lead in causing fatalities. These are known as the “Fatal Four.” Eliminating these four types of accidents alone would save nearly 600 lives per year.
- Falls – account for nearly 34% of all fatal construction site accidents;
- Struck by Object – over 11% of all construction fatalities occur when a worker is struck by a falling, moving, or swinging object;
- Electrocutions – account for 8.5% of all construction related fatalities; and
- Caught In-Between – This category includes construction workers fatally injured when caught, compressed, or crushed by equipment or by a structural collapse, such as a wall or roof.
Non-fatal accidents further demonstrate the inherent dangers of construction work. The most common non-fatal construction accidents mirror those listed above and also include: Falling object accidents; slip, trip, and fall accidents; scaffolding and ladder accidents; and electrocution accidents.
What is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)?
The Occupation Safety and Health Administration, frequently referred to by its acronym, OSHA, is an agency of the United States Department of Labor which was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA’s role as a government agency is to protect workers in all industries from unsafe conditions and to promulgate rules and regulations to further that goal. Over the years, OSHA has developed a series of specific rules and regulations which govern just about every activity on an active construction site. In the vast majority of construction accidents, fatal or otherwise, there is an OSHA violation present.
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What are the most common OSHA violations?
The most common OSHA violations involve a failure to provide adequate protective gear, failure to provide adequate instructions to employees, and a failure to communicate between different teams working on the same job site. According to OSHA, the top 10 OSHA violation citations are:
- Fall Protection, residential construction (1926.501(b)(13))
- Fall Protection, guard rails (1926.501(b)(1))
- Training Certification (1926.503(b)(1))
- Training Program (1926.503(a)(1))
- Ladders, portable (1926.1053(b)(1))
- Hazard Communication, written program (1910.1200(e)(1))
- Fall Protection, low-slope roofs (1926.501(b)(10))
- Head Protection (1926.100(a))
- Fall Protection, steep roofs (1926.501(b)(11))
- General Safety and Health Provisions (1926.20(b)(2))
What should I do if I’m injured on a construction site?
If you or a loved one are involved in an accident while working at a construction site, it is ESSENTIAL to take the following steps. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary damage to your claim and financial recovery. The “must do” steps are:
- Seek Medical Attention Immediately
- File a Report with your Boss/Foreman/Supervisor
- Take Photographs
- Call the Kryder Law Group, LLC at (312) 223-1700
I was hurt at my construction job, do I have a case?
The American construction worker is subjected to numerous dangers on a daily basis. These dangers are well documented in the fatal and non-fatal accident statistics discussed above. Notably, these all-too-frequent accidents are often accompanied by an OSHA violation on the job site.
If you or your loved one have been involved in a construction accident, call the Kryder Law Group, LLC immediately for your free consultation.