The construction industry is very dangerous. Roughly 20 percent of all work-related fatalities happened in the construction industry in 2013, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Construction workers in Pennsylvania should be aware of the dangers they face while working. Employers also need to be aware of the hazards so they can take steps to keep workers safe by reducing hazards and accidents in the industry.
Many hazards put construction workers at risk for being injured or killed on-the-job. Employers need to be proactive in reducing workplace safety hazards, and while there are many different safety issues that need to be addressed, the four leading causes of workplace accidents and fatalities in the construction industry should be addressed.
Listed below are the four most common causes of fatal accidents on construction sites:
- Falls contributed to 302 fatalities in 2013 in the construction industry. Employers are required to have proper fall protection equipment and systems to prevent falls but they still occur.
- Struck by objects contributed to more than 80 percent of fatalities, according to OSHA. Employers are supposed to use canopies, toe boards and guardrails to prevent falling objects from injuring workers.
- Electrocutions caused 71 fatalities in 2013 despite safety regulations in place to prevent this hazard from happening.
- Caught in between or in equipment is very serious and caused 21 percent of fatalities in 2013. This often involves large equipment or fallen supplies.
Safety hazards in the construction industry can be prevented but it is up to employers to take the appropriate steps to keep workers safe. This includes providing proper safety equipment and training to prevent accidents from happening.
Construction workers should be aware of the risks in the workplace and know that they have rights if they are injured. Workers can file a workers' compensation claim to help them pay for their medical expenses and lost wages. However, these claims can be difficult so it is best to work with an attorney to discuss the specific details of your accident.
Source: FindLaw, "Construction's Top 'Fatal 4' Workplace Injuries," Le Trinh, April 28, 2015