Construction is one of America's most dangerous jobs. Workers face serious injuries or death due to numerous factors, particularly falls.
Construction is known across the country as being one of the most dangerous industries. Every day, construction workers in Massachusetts and every other state risk their own safety to build the structures and roadways that others often take for granted. In many cases, worksite injuries are considered an inevitable part of the job. However, avoidable safety violations may contribute to a large portion of accidents that kill or seriously injure construction workers. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction deaths rose 6 percent across the country in 2014, with the industry having one of the highest mortality rates of any other job.
"Fatal four" notorious for construction worker deaths
Which construction accidents are the most dangerous? According to EHS Today, four accident types - known as the "fatal four" - were responsible for 57 percent of construction deaths in 2012. These include the following:
• Falls, responsible for most construction site fatalities
• Electrocution by wiring, cables or electrical equipment
• Being caught between machinery or objects
• Objects striking workers
Safety professionals believe that getting rid of these "fatal four" accidents entirely would prevent 435 deaths among construction workers in America every year.
Common safety violations in the construction industry
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration has set regulations in the construction industry to prevent these types of accidents, as well as others. However, violations of these regulations regularly occur, according to Electrical Construction & Maintenance. The most common worksite violations in construction include those in scaffolding, grounding and excavations. For example, construction workers are frequently killed or injured in falls if scaffolding is not constructed on a stable surface or fully planked on walking surfaces. Workers can be electrocuted by not de-energizing cables or equipment or by not being properly grounded. Trenches and excavations can be deadly if measures are not taken to prevent cave-ins, collapses or running out of oxygen.
An accident in Longmeadow last July illustrated the dangers of a trenching accident. According to MassLive, a sewer trench filled up with water while a worker was inside it, trapping and drowning him. Regional OSHA officials, as well as law enforcement and other agencies, assisted in the recovery of the victim and the investigation of the accident. It was unknown whether or not a safety violation was the cause of the tragedy.
If you are injured in a construction site accident, you may be eligible for compensation. You may need to speak with an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.