The nature of construction work places it into a category of employment associated with injuries and deaths. The heavy equipment, power tools, scaffolds and electrical systems involved contribute to the risks. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor illustrates the on-the-job hazards of construction.
Looking at data from 2012, a total of 4,175 deaths of workers were reported. The portion of these workers from the construction industry was 19.3 percent or 806 deaths out of the total. Four situations were most often associated with the fatal accidents. They are falls, being struck by an object, electric shocks and being caught between heavy objects like machinery.
Injuries that are not fatal are also prevalent among construction workers. Falls are especially common among roofers. The average workers’ compensation claim for injured roofers between 2005 and 2007 was $106,648. This is significantly above the average $50,383 claim for fall injuries in other occupations.
Construction work is expected to remain a significant part of the U.S. economy. The U.S. Department of Labor already estimates that about 6 million people or 4 percent of workers are employed in construction. By 2022, the construction labor force is expected to increase to 7.4 million workers.
Because workplace accidents are a reality within this industry, employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. This system pays for the medical care of injured workers and even pays benefits to survivors when a worker dies. Filing a claim needs to be done in a timely manner. The process can sometimes be difficult, especially for people recovering from serious construction accidents. An attorney can sometimes help a person in that situation meet filing requirements and become aware of the benefits to which he or she is entitled.