Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 150,000 construction site accidents each year. Many of these accidents can leave workers permanently injured and unable to work in the field. In fatal accidents, families can be left without a source of financial support.
In this article, we’re going to go over the causes of construction accidents, how to stay safe, and what to do if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Commonly Used Statistics report, in 2018 21.1% of the year’s 4,779 on-the-job deaths were in construction. That is approximately one out of every five worker deaths. The following are the four most common reasons construction site deaths occur.
In 2018, 338 of the construction deaths that were reported were caused by falls. Workers fall from scaffolding, buildings, cranes, and other equipment. During the period between 2008 and 2018, more than 3,500 workers died in falls.
Being Struck By an Object
In 2018, 112 construction workers died after being struck by an object. On construction sites, there are many heavy objects that can become deadly when they are dropped from overhead. These include tools, bricks, and other equipment and materials.
In 2018, 86 construction workers died from electrocution. This can happen when workers are near live power lines or when they fail to notice the power lines overhead. Between 1992 and 2003, an average of 143 construction workers were fatally electrocuted each year.
Being Caught Between Objects
In 2018, 55 construction workers died after being trapped or crushed between objects. This can include being caught in a structure that has collapsed or being crushed between two heavy pieces of building materials.
OSHA estimates that eliminating these four causes would save the lives of 591 construction workers in the United States each year. This is why it is critical to report any violations you see on a construction site. Holding construction companies accountable could save your life and the lives of many others.