One in five workplace deaths occurs in the construction industry. Recently released statistics from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) show that in calendar year 2013, 796 of the 3,929 worker fatalities nationwide occurred in the construction industry. That figure represents just over 20 percent of all work-related deaths.
Further research by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that just four accident types, known by safety officials as construction’s “fatal four,” account for more than half – 58.7 percent – of construction worker deaths. Consider these facts and figures from 2013, the most recent year for which full statistics are available.
- Falls: Accidental falls caused 294 out of 796 total construction industry deaths – a figure representing 36.9 percent.
- Struck by object: This typically happens when objects fall from cranes or scaffolds or when pushing, pulling or prying causes objects to become airborne. Collisions with objects killed 82 workers (10.3 percent) in 2013.
- Electrocutions: A common cause of electrocutions on construction sites is touching, holding or operating equipment that comes into contact with overhead power lines. Electrocutions killed 71 workers (8.9 percent) in 2013.
- Caught-in/between: Examples include being trapped in caved-in trenches, body parts being pulled into or caught in machinery, strangulation due to clothing being pulled into or caught in machinery or being crushed between rolling, sliding or shifting objects. This accident type killed 21 workers (2.6 percent) in 2013.
If you are injured in or have lost a loved one to a construction accident of any sort, you are entitled to fair compensation. Call 800-251-1111 to speak with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.