Construction work often comes at a price to the worker, whether it is the wear and tear placed on the body over many years performing manual labor or suffering injuries on the job while working in a hazardous environment or with equipment that can cause harm.
While many of the injuries suffered at the work place are minor and do not require extensive medical care, many accidents do result in serious injuries or fatalities and it is the responsibility of employers to address the safety concerns highlighted in OSHA’s standards in order to prevent serious accidents from occurring. Failure to do so can make the employer liable for damages in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, which are guaranteed to everyone on the job.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have compiled the following statistics regarding construction accidents in the hopes that educating others about the dangers present on construction sites may prevent accidents from occurring in the future.
Construction Accident Statistics for 2012
- 4,628 fatalities were reported due to workplace injuries in 2012 and 870 of the fatalities occurred as the result of injuries on construction sites.
- 12 workers died every day in 2012.
- The fatalities suffered while performing construction work accounted for almost 19% of the fatalities reported during the year.
- 2.3 construction workers died each day in 2012.
- The only industry with more fatal injuries in 2012 was the transportation industry— which reported 1,247 fatal injuries.
- Over 150,000 construction accidents are reported every year.
- 3.7 injuries were reported during 2012 for every 100 construction workers on the job.
- 2 out of 100 construction workers suffered injuries that required time off of work or restricted job duties.
- 38% of the injuries suffered on construction sites required workers to take time off of work to recover.
The Fatal Four Predominate Causes of Catastrophic Accidents on Construction Sites
“The Fatal Four” refers to the four most deadly types of accidents that occur at the workplace. By paying attention to these four hazards, employers can greatly reduce the amount of injuries and fatalities that occur on their construction sites.
- Falls, which account for almost 35% of construction fatalities, claimed 279 lives during 2012.
- Being struck by an object was the cause of 79 deaths— 9.8% of the total workplace deaths in 2012.
- Electrocution was the cause of 66 workplace fatalities, which made up 8% of the total.
- Being caught between moving parts or objects was the cause of 13 deaths and made up approximately 1.6% of the fatalities reported in 2012 on the job.
OSHA’s Enforcement of Safety Regulations Helping to Improve Jobsite Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for enforcing policies that reduce the likelihood and severity of injuries sustained on the job. Unfortunately, OSHA is a small agency when compared with the number of people it is tasked to protect.
- OSHA employs 2,200 inspectors who are tasked with making sure that companies follow property safety protocol required to prevent accidents and injuries.
- There are over 8 million worksites in the United States that OSHA is responsible for, which employ 130 million workers.
- There is one OSHA inspector for every 59,000 workers in the United States.
- OSHA will perform almost 40,000 inspections this year.
- The Federal budget for OSHA during 2013 was $535 million and increased to $552 million for the year 2014.
- Due to OSHA standards, the reports of workplace injuries have declined by 65% since 1970 while employment has doubled in the same period.
Data Comparison from Previous Years Demonstrate Dangers in Construction Industry
- There were 4,693 worker fatalities reported in 2011 and of these, 798 occurred were the result of construction accidents.
- In 2010, there were 780 reports of fatal construction accidents.
- 2012 was the most deadly year for construction workers during a three year span.
- Only in 2009 did more construction workers suffer fatal injuries— 879 workers died in 2009 compared to 849 in 2012.
- There were fewer reported injuries per 100 workers reported in 2012 than in prior years despite an increase in fatalities. The percentage of injuries per 100 workers has decreased over three consecutive years from 4.3% in 2009 to 3.7% in 2012.
Most Reported Violations of OSHA Standards on Construction Sites
OSHA reported the ten standards that are cited in violations most often to be the following.
- Lack of fall protection such as harnesses.
- The proper communication of hazards.
- Violation of scaffolding standards.
- Lack of respiratory protection or protection that is adequate to address health or safety concerns.
- Electrical wiring and methods used to install electrical components.
- Use of industrial machinery that fails to meet maintenance or operational standards.
- Improper use of ladders.
- Failure to meet lockout/tagout standards designed to control energy hazards.
- Improper design of electrical systems.
- The use of machinery and machine guarding.
If you have been injured in a work related accident, it is important to educate yourself on your rights so that you can seek the compensation that you are entitled to for the cost of medical care and lost wages. Regardless of fault, all workers are guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits and an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on whether you are able to claim additional compensation due to the negligence of an employer or another worker.
Contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free consultation with an attorney who has experience with cases similar to your own. After thoroughly reviewing the details of your case, we can let you know how best to proceed and exactly what you can expect from the legal process. We will never require payment for our advice or services until we are able to recover compensation on your behalf.