Construction is a major industry in the United States.
In Southern California alone, 27,900 people joined the construction industry workforce between February 2017 and February 2018. But with all of the powerful tools and heavy equipment commonly used on construction sites and the fact that people are often working at heights or in trenches, it’s very easy for construction workers to get hurt or killed on the job.
Common causes of construction site accidents
Out of all the ways to possibly get hurt on a construction site, four types are so common that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) labels them as the “Fatal Four.” These four types of construction site accidents accounted for 59.9% of all construction worker deaths in the United States in 2017. According to OSHA, eliminating the Fatal Four would save the lives of 582 American workers every year.
OSHA’s fatal four construction site accidents:
Falls: Falls are a major problem on construction sites. Issues with fall protection are consistently one of OSHA’s most frequently cited types of safety violations and they’re also one of the most dangerous types of accidents. In 2017, 39.2% of all fatal construction site accidents in the United States involved falls.
Struck-By Object: Construction sites are often full of objects being hoisted up by cranes and people working at heights, making it easy for items to fall. “Struck by” accidents occur when a person is hit by a falling, swinging, rolling, or flying object. Motor vehicle accidents are one common type of struck by accidents. According to OSHA, struck-by accidents were responsible for 8.2% of all construction site fatalities in 2017.
Electrocutions: When proper precautions aren’t taken, it’s very easy for construction workers to get electrocuted on the job. Not only do workers face an electrocution risk if they’re working on a building’s wiring, electrocutions can also happen if they accidentally come into contact with overhead power lines. In 2017, electrocutions represented 7.3% of all construction site fatalities.
Caught-In/Between: Caught-in or caught-between accidents occur when a person gets trapped or crushed in between objects. This can include getting caught in a piece of machinery, being crushed during a trenching cave-in, being trapped in a collapsing structure, or being caught between a moving and a stationary object. These types of construction site accidents accounted for 5.1% of all construction site fatalities in 2017.
Damages in a construction accident claim
In many construction site accident cases, workers’ compensation provides compensation for many different types of damages, including medical expenses, disability payments, rehabilitation costs, and funeral expenses. But not all workers are necessarily covered by workers’ compensation and in some circumstances, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against an employer for damages outside of those covered by workers’ compensation. A construction accident lawyer will be able to work with you to figure out which options are open to you and will fight for you to get all of the compensation you’re entitled to.
Contact a California construction accident lawyer
Earning a living shouldn’t have to mean putting your life on the line. When construction companies cut corners on workplace safety, workers end up paying the price. Construction site accidents can be very complicated, so if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed on the job, you need the help of an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle your case. At The Wallace Firm, you’ll be able to get help from a construction accident lawyer with a track record of success in helping people just like you. Contact us today for help with your claim.