It is a tragedy to lose any loved one, but in our Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm’s experience, it is especially tragic to lose a loved one to a construction accident that potentially could have been avoided.
The Fatal Four
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top four most common accidents ultimately caused 54.2 percent of construction worker deaths in 2012. These “fatal four” causes of death include:
- Falls – Falls on construction sites caused 279 men and women to lose their lives in 2012. This was 34.6 percent of the total deaths reported in the industry that year.
- Being hit by an object – Getting hit by equipment, passing vehicles or other items caused 79 deaths, which equals 9.8 percent of construction-related fatalities.
- Electrocution – Even though contractors almost exclusively use highly trained electricians to deal with electrical issues on a job site, electrocution killed 66 workers (8.1 percent of construction worker deaths) in 2012.
- Getting trapped or caught – Thirteen workers lost their lives because they got trapped or caught in, on or between pieces of the job site. This accounts for 1.6 percent of construction worker deaths in 2012.
Reduce Your Risk
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers note that OSHA has tips for preventing these “fatal four” causes of death on a construction site. It can save your life if:
- Your employer provides personal fall arrest equipment and takes steps to ensure that workers wear said equipment whenever working at heights.
- Your employer will install and maintain perimeter protection of the site.
- Your employer, coworkers and you work together to cover and secure all floor openings. You should also properly label covers to floor openings to ensure that people know they are stepping on a potentially unsafe cover.
- You and your coworkers use ladders and scaffolding safely at all times.
- You make sure to avoid positioning yourself between any moving and fixed objects.
- Your employer requires that all workers wear bright and easily visible clothing whenever working near vehicles or equipment.
- You stay out of excavations five feet deep or deeper unless there is a solid protective system in place.
- Utilities are located and identified before work starts.
Your employer and coworkers should be making every effort to maintain OSHA regulations on the job site, and you should be aware that it is within your legal rights to not put yourself in a dangerous position should the site not be compliant.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or death due to a construction accident, please contact one of our Atlanta worker’s comp attorneys to discuss your case.