The statistics and incident rates of construction site fatalities are shocking. However, keep in mind, the construction industry is unique because workers constantly face a range of dangers.
One in five worker deaths in every field happens in construction. In 2019, there were 195,600 workplace injuries and 3,600 workplace illnesses reported. The staggering number does not include fatalities.
In 2018, the construction industry reported 1008 work-related deaths, making up 47% of all fatal work incidents.
Businesses that have ten or fewer employees make up nearly half of all construction-related deaths. If a construction worker remains in the field for 45 years, there is a 1 in 200 chance that they will die because of a work-related accident.
The Causes of Fatal Construction Site Accidents
OSHA refers to the leading causes of private sector fatalities in construction as the “Fatal Four.”
Most industries face the danger of fall-related fatalities. However, construction leads at 51% percent of all fall reported. The reason behind the staggering stat is because of inadequate protective measures.
A construction site is dangerous, but many of them fail in creating a more fail-safe work environment. It is a company’s responsibility to provide personnel with personal protective equipment, including harnesses, safety nets, and open-sided elevated platforms.
Failure to give employees proper training and safety equipment is negligence on their part. And, in the case of injuries and fatalities, they are libel.
Electrocution is the second highest cause of fatalities on a construction site. On average, 300 people die every year from electrical hazards. In most cases, they are avoidable.
Proper training and PPE are requirements to ensure safety on worksites. It is negligent to not provide both, including continued education, with an emphasis on personal protective equipment.
Employees Struck by Objects
The third leading cause of death in the construction industry involves employees struck by objects. It includes falling debris, flying objects, swinging loads, or rolling vehicles.
Protective measures like safety goggles or face shields are one step a construction site manager can take to prevent fatal accidents.
Training goes a long way when it comes to ensuring secured loads and teaching preventive tactics. Companies that do not give their workers protective gear and the proper policy and procedures while on a construction site are responsible for the work-related deaths on that site.
Workers Crushed Between Objects
Workers dying from caught-in-betweens are the fourth leading cause of construction site fatalities. The accidents entail workers being crushed, squeezed, or caught between two or more objects.
Sound safety precautions will reduce the incidents of workers crushed or trapped between vehicles or equipment. For example, educating workers about equipment safety goes a long way to preventing fatalities on a construction site.
If an employer fails to promote worksite safety actively, they are at fault for accidents and fatalities.
Reporting and Patterns on Work Sites
Injuries happen, and it is up to the employee to report even the most minor incident. It is not only for the worker’s health but for their coworkers. It is how people can make changes within their company before a fatality occurs.
With paper trails, the liability falls on the company rather than the employee with an accident or fatality happens. The company and employee need documentation to prove the safety of a construction site.
Liability and Construction Site Fatalities
It is a company’s responsibility to establish a culture of safety on construction sites. The main factor when doing that is continued education.
It is a fact, some fatal accidents are unavoidable, but the majority can be. A legal claim after a fatal accident is possible. It is in the interest of any survivor to contact an attorney and find out what a claim will entail.
Compensation is not the first thing someone thinks about when a loved one dies on the job. However, medical bills and lost wages quickly add up. A family faces enough challenges by the loss.
Liability laws and conditions are different in every state, and a complicated matter. It is best to contact a lawyer to start the process.