What are the “Fatal Four” Injuries Experienced by Construction Workers, and can a Worker be Compensated for Them?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four highly frequent and common injuries suffered by construction workers in America. Did you know that OSHA also reports that of all the deadly accidents that happen in private industry each year, about 21% of them are in the construction trades. That means that over one-fifth of all fatal industrial accidents are construction workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that over 5,100 people died in construction accidents in 2016 alone. That is a significant 7% increase from the prior year. The four most common (called the “fatal four”) injuries are as follows:
- Getting struck by an object
- Being electrocuted
- Getting stuck or caught in between objects (crushing accidents).
How Falls Happen, and What to Look Out for
For construction workers, every day means a new set of dangers. Whether it is a high access point, working way above the ground, or a job site with exposed wiring, each job site will present unique hazards. Many contractors and subcontractors fail to follow simple basic OSHA regulations by modifying tools and equipment to make them more efficient and easier to use. This can mean removing safety harnesses or asking that employees do so. Some contractors may construct shoddy or haphazard scaffolding that is not suitable for use. Be sure that your work site is safe before taking on added risks.
Common Ways Workers Get Struck by Objects
This can be as simple as falling debris from a roofing job to workers not handling power tools properly. Always wear glasses to protect your eyes and an approved hard hat to protect your head from debris or other flying objects.
Electrocution Injuries are Often Preventable
Only a licensed and properly trained electrician should be working on power lines or industrial electrical configurations. Some contractors and foremen try to cut corners by having untrained or unskilled laborers do ‘quick’ fixes. Know your limits. If you are not trained as an electrician and do not have the experience or skills to work on electrical lines, always insist that a properly trained individual be used for tasks involving electricity.
Avoiding Crushing Injuries on the Job Site
One of the best defenses to injuries of all types is common sense and awareness. Never be distracted while on a job site. There are certainly foremen and contractors who will ask their workers to do unsafe tasks. Your chances of survival and staying safe are usually much better if you are well-rested, alert, and focused.
Never Work Impaired
Sadly, some people show up to construction sites still intoxicated or under the influence of prescription medications or illegal drugs. Doing so not only puts them in danger, but it also endangers the lives of all those around them. If you suspect someone is working under the influence, talk to the person and if necessary, speak to a foreman or lead contractor immediately. Alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicating substances have no place on the job site.
Injured in a Texas Construction Accident?
Injured workers in Texas have options for being compensated. If your employer offers workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to recovery your lost income, temporary pay for the time you are out of work, and your medical expenses. If they do not carry insurance, you may have to take them to court to be compensated. Either way, you increase your chance of recovering money for your injuries if you consult an experienced construction accident lawyer. Contact The Oweyssi Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a free private consultation today.