According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas had the highest number of fatal work accidents in 2016. One in five of those fatalities were construction site accidents, with 64% of those related to the Fatal Four.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration identified the leading causes of construction industry deaths and injuries as: falls, struck-by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between equipment or objects–otherwise known as the Fatal Four.
Falls are the leading cause of injury in the construction industry. These injuries occur when personal fall arrest equipment is not used properly, perimeter protection is not installed or maintained, floor openings are improperly secured and labeled, and ladders and scaffolds are not scaled safely.
The second leading cause of injury in the construction injury is struck-by objects. Employees are especially exposed to these hazards when they position themselves between moving and fixed objects and/or do not high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.
The third leading cause of injury in the construction industry is electrocution. This type of injury is typically caused by lack of awareness of power lines and not maintaining a safe distance from them, operating portable electric tools that are not grounded or double insulated, not using ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection, and poor visibility on ladders and scaffolds.
Caught-in or in-between
The fourth leading cause of injury in the construction industry is caught-in or in-between objects or equipment. These accidents occur when an employee enters an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place, such as sloping, shoring, benching or trench shield systems.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that eliminating these fatal four’ leading causes of construction worker injuries would save 582 workers’ lives in America every year.
Construction workers are especially subjected to occupational fatalities or injuries. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in work-related wrongful death and personal injury cases and can help you get the justice that you or your family deserve.
If someone you love was seriously hurt or fatally injured in a construction site accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The Houston attorneys of Williams Hart have experience assisting families of wrongful death victims. Please do not hesitate to contact us today.