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Four Most Common Causes of Construction Worker Fatalities

Aurora construction accident injury lawyerWhen you think of dangerous workplaces, a construction site is probably one of the first things that comes to mind. By nature, construction is a hazardous profession. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that in 2016, one in five worker deaths were in the construction industry. 

Construction’s “Fatal Four”

OSHA has defined four of the leading causes of worker deaths in the construction industry as the “fatal four.” These causes are:

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Falls Are a Leading Cause of Construction Accident Injuries and Deaths

Kane County construction accident attorney workers' compensation wrongful deathConstruction workers often face dangers as part of their everyday jobs, due to the heavy materials and complex machinery they use. However, while injuries at a construction site can come from a variety of sources, the most common types of construction accidents involve a fall on a worker’s same level or to a lower level. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 991 fatalities from construction accidents in 2016, and 370 of these deaths were from falls. Fatal falls occur in a wide variety of situations, including from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, and stationary vehicles or equipment. These falls can happen for a variety of reasons, including faulty equipment, failure to follow safety procedures or use proper safety equipment, inadequate training, slippery or unstable surfaces, or unprotected holes or edges.

Workers’ Compensation for Construction Accidents

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construction site accidents, Aurora personal injury attorneysOut of all industries, construction is considered to be one of the most dangerous for workers and for the general public. In fact, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration attributes around 20 percent of all fatal workplace injuries to the construction injuries. Nonfatal injuries are also much more common among construction workers. The general public is, in turn, often put at risk because of the accidents that cause workplace injuries and fatalities to workers. To reduce the occurrence and risks to all, one Canadian study suggests the use of union workers.  

Construction Worker Deaths and Injuries in the United States

Within the construction industry, four types of accidents are responsible for 57 percent of all fatalities – falls (responsible for 39 percent of construction fatalities), being caught between objects (2 percent), being struck by an object (10 percent), and electrocution (9 percent). If these four types of injuries were completely eliminated, it would save approximately 435 American lives each and every year.

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