According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 60 percent of worker fatalities in the construction industry can be attributed to the “Fatal Four” hazards: falls, electrical hazards, struck-by, and caught in/between accidents.
Falls from heights are the leading cause of fatal construction accidents in this country. Despite clear OSHA standards for fall prevention equipment and procedures, over 300 construction workers die in falls annually.
Contact with electrical sources account for 10 to 15 percent of fatal construction accidents every year. These accidents include contact with overhead power lines, defective or damaged machinery, improper use of flexible and extension cords, and exposure through bare or live wires.
Electrical injuries vary depending on the nature and period of exposure, and the current and voltage involved. Survivable injuries range from the physical (pain, muscle spasms, and contractures) to neurological (neuropathy, seizures, and loss of balance and coordination.) Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are also common after a traumatic work accident.
Construction sites are full of heavy machinery, vehicles, and supplies. Tools and materials that are unsecured or not transported safely can make impact with workers.
Struck-by hazards are classified in four ways:
- Struck-by falling object
- Struck-by flying object
- Struck-by swinging object
- Struck-by rolling object
Objects can fall from heights and injure workers on the ground. Trucks and other vehicles can malfunction or be operated in a careless manner, posing a risk to those working nearby. Struck-by injuries can include broken bones, traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal injuries, amputations, and death.
Construction cranes are essential for moving materials through the job site. If they are not thoroughly inspected, serviced, and operated in a safe manner, they can malfunction, causing employees and loads to drop and crush workers below.
Caught In/Between Accidents
In a 12-year period, caught in/between accidents claimed more than 1,000 lives in this country. These incidents happen when workers or parts of their body are caught, squeezed, compressed, pinched, or crushed between two or more objects.
They include trenching and excavation accidents that suffocate and/or crush construction workers digging and clearing trenches. One square yard of soil can weigh upwards of 3,000 pounds, enough to suffocate and crush a person.
What To Do If You Are Hurt on the Job?
Construction workers who get hurt at work should first seek the appropriate medical attention. Once they are stable, they must report the accident to their employer as soon as possible. Delays in reporting construction accidents increase the chance of an employer denying a workers’ compensation claim.
Next, they should collect any evidence related to their accident (photos, medical reports, and construction logs) and meet with a lawyer for guidance. A lawyer can assist in pursuing workers’ compensation benefits and oversee legal action if necessary.
Coatesville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Assist Clients Injured on the Job
If you were injured or became sick due to conditions at your job, help is available. The Coatesville workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan are determined to recover benefits for clients injured at work. We determine what you are entitled to and manage your claim every step of the way. Call us at 610-594-1600 or inquire online to schedule a free consultation today. Based in Exton, our team works with clients in and around Downingtown, West Chester, Downingtown, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Parkesburg, Uwchland, Chester Springs, Reading, Morgantown, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.