Construction work in Georgia is often considered to be extremely dangerous, especially for those who work around high-speed vehicles or on platforms. In fact, the construction industry has the highest number of struck-by deaths out of all U.S. industries. The rate of struck-by accidents has been so prevalent that the Occupational and Safety Health Administration was pushed to come up with a plan to prevent these incidents.
The Center for Construction Research and Training reported that there were more than 800 construction fatalities caused by struck-by incidents between 2011 and 2015. Of those fatalities, 52 percent occurred when workers were hit by objects or equipment. The remainder of the incidents were caused by vehicle strikes. Of the struck-by incidents involving vehicle strikes, 57 percent occurred in work zones on highways and other roadways. The data also showed that workers who were 65 and older were more likely to die from these incidents than younger workers.
While struck-by incidents are a cause for concern, OSHA has been focusing on falls, which are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. To put pressure on the construction industry, OSHA used to release regular press releases about egregious safety violations. Since President Donald Trump has taken office, however, these press releases have ceased for the most part.
When work-related deaths occur, the workers’ families often face financial uncertainties on top of having to deal with the sudden death of a loved one. The loss of a salary on top of funeral costs could have a major impact on the worker’s spouse, children and other family members. An attorney could help a family determine if they are eligible to collect death benefits. For example, the worker’s spouse could be eligible until he or she remarries while children could collect benefits through college.