212-571-7100

Free Consultation

What are the most common causes of construction site fatalities?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,821 workers killed while working on the job in 2014. That’s the equivalent of more than 13 deaths each day, or over 92 deaths each week.

Construction site fatalities accounted for 899 of the total number of worker deaths, or one in every five fatalities. Falls accounted for nearly 40 percent of those 899 construction deaths,with 359 fatalities. Electrocutions caused 74 deaths, or more than 8 percent of the total deaths in the construction industry. Struck by object accidents caused the death of 73 workers, which is more than 8 percent of the total. Finally, 4.3 percent of the total number of construction deaths, or 39 fatalities, were caused by being caught in or between equipment or objects.

Simply eliminating the “Fatal Four” causes of construction worker related deaths would save 545 lives in the U.S. every year, or more than 60 percent of the total fatalities in the field in a single year.

Increased safety standards and protocols can significantly reduce worker related deaths in the construction industry. For example, using the proper safety gear, e.g., harnesses, can help prevent deadly injuries from falls, just as better safety practices around electrical components can reduce the number of electrocutions.

The most commonly cited safety standards by OSHA in the fiscal year 2015 were:

— Fall protection: Construction

— Hazard communication standard: General industry

— Scaffolding: Construction

— Respiratory protection: General industry

— Control of hazardous energy: General industry

The number of worker deaths in the U.S. have decreased dramatically since 1970 when there were 38 workers killed each day on average. In 2014, that number fell to 13. While that is still too many fatal worker accidents, it does show that safety standards are helping decrease the number of workers who lose their lives each day.

Workers’ compensation can help the families of those workers who die while on the job, as death benefits are available. Should a claim for benefits be denied, it is possible for an attorney to pursue benefits through an appeal.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Construction’s “Fatal Four”,” accessed Sep. 30, 2016

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“I retained O’Dwyer & Bernstien on the recommendation of a friend. I was immediately impressed by the firm’s experience and reputation in personal injury law. From the start, my ODB attorney walked me through the process, answered all my questions, explained everything clearly, kept me updated regularly and always promptly returned my telephone calls and emails. My attorney was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and diligent. My case moved through the court system quickly. As trial neared, the insurance company saw that my attorney was experienced and thoroughly prepared to try my case to verdict. As a result, the insurance company caved and settled my case for the full limits of the insurance policy. I love my ODB attorney!”

“When I was hurt on the job I had nowhere to turn for help. I had been working as an electrician’s helper, but my boss was not insured and he had no license to do electrical work. I had just had a new baby girl and Con Ed was going to shut off my lights. A friend told me to call O’Dwyer & Bernstien. They took action right away and got great money for my case. ODB helped me get my life back on track. I will always be grateful.”