In Sept. 2016, 55-year-old construction worker Craig Rowell died after falling down an elevator shaft at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport during a terminal upgrade construction, according to the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth.
Unfortunately, construction worker deaths from falls are all too common.
There were more fatalities in construction than in any other industry in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of all construction site injuries, fatal injuries from falling has remained the most likely cause of death since 1992.
That sobering statistic is one reason why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) held its National Fall Prevention Safety Stand-Down from May 8-12, 2017. The safety campaign encouraged employers to discuss work fall hazards, company safety policies, protective methods and training in fall prevention with workers.
“Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015,” according to OSHA’s website.
Falling isn’t the only construction site hazard, though.
Construction’s “Fatal Four”
Out of 4,379 worker fatalities in private industry in 2015, 937 (21% or one in five) were in construction, according to OSHA, which dubbed the leading causes of construction deaths the “fatal four.”
The fatal four workplace accidents below caused more than half (64.2%) of construction worker deaths in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- Falls: 64 out of 937 total deaths in construction in 2015 (38.8%).
- Struck by Object: 90 (9.6%).
- Electrocutions: 81 (8.6%).
- Killed when caught in or compressed by equipment or objects and struck, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment or material: 67 (7.2%).
Road work zones are another frequent place for construction site injuries, with Texas claiming the highest road work zone injury rate in the country. Texas reported 67 road work zone worker injuries between 2011-2015, according to BLS statistics. Florida (38), Pennsylvania (38) and California (32) also rank high on road work zone injuries.
A Dangerous Occupation
OSHA calls construction is a “high-hazard industry” where workers can be exposed to serious occupational perils including:
- Falls from rooftops.
- Injury or mutilation due to unguarded machinery.
- Being struck by heavy construction equipment.
- Silica dust and asbestos.
Many construction accidents and injuries could have been prevented if the employer had proper safety measures in place such as protective gear, safety training, and properly functioning equipment.
Why You Need An Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a construction site injury, could your accident have been prevented? You’ll need an experienced construction site injury attorney to investigate and help you find out.
Anyone who has suffered a life-altering construction site injury has a long list of things to worry about. In addition to healing from broken bones, brain trauma or other conditions resulting from an accident, you may be concerned about paying expensive medical bills while trying to mend psychological trauma from the horrific incident. Maybe you’re eager to return to work. At the same time, you could be wondering if you’ll ever be able to work again.
What a construction site injury attorney can do for you:
- Ensure that you file workers’ compensation paperwork properly and on time.
- Find out what caused your accident and who could be liable.
- Determine whether you can file a personal injury claim.
- Recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and permanent or temporary disability.
Don’t depend on workers’ compensation to take care of everything. You need a knowledgeable attorney experienced in construction site injuries to investigate your case and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve.