Almost 6.5 million individuals work in the construction industry in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates an average of 252,000 construction sites litter the nation. Of these numbers, OSHA reported an increased number of work fatalities in the construction industry. In 2014, 874 men and women died. This makes construction worker one of the most dangerous occupations in the nation.
The nature of construction is inherently dangerous. Workers must go on high scaffolds and work with heavy materials and machinery. OSHA requires all project managers and construction employers to provide the appropriate safety gear, maintain functioning equipment, and produce a controlled environment. When they fail to do so, injuries and fatalities can occur.
The primary cause of injuries and death in construction accidents are called the “Fatal Four.” These incidents include falls, being struck by an object, being caught between machinery / material, and electrocution.
The statistics for related deaths include:
- Falls – 349 deaths
- Struck by object – 73 deaths
- Electrocution – 74 deaths
- Caught – in / between – 12 deaths
These events account for 60% of all construction accident deaths. Employers have a responsibility to ensure safety regulation and rules are being met. Scaffolds must be properly positioned and stable. Workers should have the appropriate personal protective equipment. And employers or equipment manufacturers should ensure the equipment is checked before use and is properly serviced.
While construction workers ordinarily cannot sue their employers, our firm handles worker’s compensation claims. Others may also be responsible. Employers and co-employees are not the only ones who fail to protect workers. General contractors, prime contractors and other subcontractors may also have a responsibility to prevent accidents and site safety. We will investigate to see if other parties may be responsible for injuries and hold them accountable when they are. Federal and state rules protect construction workers. When they are disregarded, the worker pays the price.
At Levinson Axelrod, we believe construction workers have a right to work in a safe environment. It is a shame that it is one of the most dangerous occupations in the nation. If you were injured or if you lost a loved one while they worked on a construction site, contact our New Jersey construction accident lawyers. We have over 75 years of experience focusing specifically on personal injury cases. We will prioritize your needs and make sure your rights are well represented. Call today for a free consultation.