More than 1,000 workers died on construction sites during 2016 according to research by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Construction deaths make up 20 percent of all occupational fatalities in the United States even though only 6 percent of the private workforce is employed in that particular sector. Falls, the biggest cause of construction site fatalities, account for more than 30 percent of these incidents.
Falls at construction sites are caused by a variety of factors, including misuse of fall protection equipment, unsteady working surfaces, and unsafe use of scaffolding and ladders. To reduce incidents, employers need to ensure that all equipment on the job site is properly secured and well-maintained. Equipment also needs to be appropriately sized for the job. Employees should be trained how and when to use personal fall safety equipment properly.
The second leading cause of construction site fatalities is being struck by objects. Vehicle impacts make up a large percentage of this cause. Routes used by trucks, cars, forklifts and other moving equipment should be clearly market and cleared. The next top safety hazard is electrical, meaning workers have to be extra careful around utilities. Caught-in-between accidents also account for many construction deaths. These occur when trenches collapse and trap workers under heavy equipment.
When a worker is killed or injured as a result of a workplace safety issue, they or their family may be eligible for financial compensation from the responsible party. Victims might want to contact a lawyer who focuses on these types of cases to find out the best way to proceed. Employers are responsible under the law to follow specific safety regulations, and failure to do so may result in significant penalties.