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How Common are Construction Accidents and Fatalities?

Working in the construction industry opens an individual up to many potential injuries. Construction workers are often using heavy equipment, working more than twenty feet off the ground, or working with or near high voltage machinery. Danger is ever-present. But, just how prevalent are construction accidents? According to OSHA, there were 899 fatal construction incidents in 2014. Those fatalities accounted for 17 percent of all U.S. work-related deaths that year.

Which Construction Accidents Account for the Most Fatalities?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA, there are generally four types of construction accidents that can prove fatal to a worker.

Known as the “fatal four,” the most fatal construction accidents are as follows:

  • Falls (responsible for 359 out of 899 total deaths in construction in 2014)
  • Electrocutions (74 fatalities in 2014)
  • Being struck by an object (73 fatalities in 2014)
  • Being caught in or between objects (39 fatalities in 2014)

The same study showed that reducing the risks and frequency of those “fatal four” incidents would save more than 500 lives each year.

What Type of Construction Work is the Most Dangerous?

Certain construction jobs are more susceptible to fatal accidents injuries. According to EHS Today, 48 percent of all construction deaths were suffered by workers in the specialty trade constructors industry, which includes such jobs as pouring concrete as well as building concrete structure and foundations. Engineering (17 percent), general building (16 percent), equipment (12 percent), and finishing (7 percent) workers made up significantly lower proportions of construction fatalities.

South Florida construction workers injured on the job may be entitled to compensation from their employer or other responsible party. In the event of a fatal construction incident, a worker’s family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Under a wrongful death claim, a worker’s survivors may be able to recover for medical and funeral expenses as well pain and suffering, loss of support and services, and financial losses resulting from the loss of the worker’s future income and wages.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro offers free consultations for work related injuries and claim for injury or death caused by a wrongful act or negligence. Contact us to learn more.

Reference articles:

Apr 17, 2014 Sandy Smith. (n.d.). Fatal Four: Safety in the Construction Industry [Infographic]. Retrieved September 14, 2016, from http://ehstoday.com/construction/fatal-four-safety-construction-industry-infographic

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2016, from https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html