Construction work has earned a reputation for being dangerous. Construction workers face many variables, from the nature of the tasks, to the environment in which the tasks are performed. The breadth of activities is such that injury risk is high and certain accidents are common.
Despite vigilance from occupational safety regulators and efforts by advocacy groups to raise awareness to dangers, fatal injuries continue to occur at high rates in the construction industry.
Fatal accidents occur with such frequency that regulators have assembled a "fatal four" hazards list identifying the most common. They are:
- Falls: Government statistics show that 39 percent of all construction site deaths are the result of falls.
- "Struck by object" incidents: Occurrences in this category might include being struck on the head by a tool dropped from stories overhead, or being struck by construction equipment. "Struck by" accidents account for more than 9 percent of recorded construction fatalities.
- Electrocutions: This was cited as the cause in 8 percent of construction fatalities in 2016.
- Caught in or between: These accidents account for approximately 7 percent of deaths.
Of course, even nonfatal injuries can be serious and debilitating.
Rules and regulations exist to prevent work-site injuries. But violation records show that despite increased education and training, there's been no improvement. Regulators note the same rates of violations year-to-year in the areas of:
- Fall protection
- Employee training
- Face and eye protection
- Head protection
- Communicating about known hazards
Regardless of attention to safety, injuries occur. When they do, workers have a right to obtain benefits through workers' compensation. To be confident that you've obtained optimal coverage, contact a skilled attorney about your case.