Construction Site Accidents
Workplace accidents take a toll on productivity and health care costs, and unless employers tighten up their safety protocols, these types of events will continue.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “the overall incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases requiring days away from work to recuperate was 104.0 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2015, down from 107.1 cases in 2014. In 2015, there were 1,153,490 days-away-from-work cases in private industry, state government, and local government—essentially unchanged from the number of cases reported in 2014.”
Jobs with the highest incidences of workplace accidents include long-haul and tractor-trailer commercial truck drivers, nursing assistants, construction work, private sector laborers, and freight and stock movers.
The New York Times reported that there were 4,836 workplace fatalities in 2015 – the most deaths since 2009.
Overview of Construction Site Accidents
It’s no secret why construction sites have so many accidents, given the amount of heavy equipment and the number of large vehicles found in these areas. But despite these dangers, construction sites should not turn into battle zones where life and death hangs in the balance.
But even a cursory look at the statistics paints a picture of construction sites as places where workers are at a higher risk of injury than in many other occupations.
According to the Industrial Safety & Hygiene News website, 10 percent of all construction workers suffer some type of injury each year. Even more concerning is the fact that falls are the biggest cause of construction site fatalities, and not surprisingly, fall protection is the safety standard that construction companies violate most often.
Furthermore, 60 percent of all construction site accidents that cause injury take place within a worker’s first year.
Major Causes of Construction Site Accidents
According to a study by the Center for Construction Research and Training, there are several common causes of construction site accidents that can lead to death:
- Falls (33.3 percent)
- Transportation (26.1 percent)
- Contact with objects (17.6 percent)
- Exposure (15.7 percent)
The study also found these common causes of construction site accidents that lead to injuries:
- Bodily reaction/exertion (33.6 percent)
- Contact with objects (33 percent)
- Falls (24.2 percent)
- Exposure (4.2 percent)
Why Construction Site Accidents Are Important
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established safety standards for employers that they must abide by in order to provide workers with a safe environment.
When those standards are not met, or are disregarded, injuries and fatalities can result, and that is especially true at construction sites where the nature of the work and the equipment used significantly increases the risk of something going awry.
Construction workers who believe that their workplace is not adhering to OSHA standards should report their concerns to an immediate supervisor.
Safety at these sites must take priority over any other issue, but sadly, that is not always the case, and that is why legal claims are filed after an accident causes injury or death.
Whether the risk is from a falling object, heavy equipment, fire, an explosion, or even something as little-seen as lead poisoning at a site, constructions workers have the right to a safe, healthy workplace.