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Primary Causes of Construction Worker Deaths

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Primary Causes of Construction Worker Deaths

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According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers. Unfortunately, falling is not the only risk construction workers need to watch out for. Construction sites contain many potential hazards, and a wide variety of injuries are common. However, some injuries more commonly lead to fatalities than others. If a loved one died due to injuries sustained on a construction job, reach out to a workplace injury attorney to discuss your options for recovery.

Primary causes of construction worker death include the following:

  • Falls: A lot of construction work occurs at great heights, though even small heights can be dangerous. Employers are required to provide adequate fall protection to protect life-altering or fatal falls from occurring.
  • Highway collisions: A good deal of construction work occurs on or near roadways. Unfortunately, with cars speeding by and often failing to pay attention, it is not uncommon for vehicles to collide with construction workers, causing severe injury or death.
  • “Struck-by” injuries: The equipment and materials used on construction sites is often heavy and inherently dangerous. When a piece of equipment or building material strikes a construction worker due to error or negligence, the injuries can be particularly severe.
  • Electrocution: With electrical wiring often open, charged, and unprotected, it is not uncommon for workers to suffer from mild to extreme electrocutions. Additionally, electrical fires can be particularly hazardous on a job site with many dry and flammable materials present.
  • “Caught by/between” injuries: Similar to the “struck-by” injuries, it is not uncommon for workers to find themselves caught by a piece of machinery whether due to negligence or human error, as well as to find themselves caught between immovable construction materials or equipment. Most of the items which litter a construction site are so heavy a person has little chance of moving them alone, leading to significant injuries and even death for workers who are caught by or between hazards on a construction site.

Family of a construction worker who dies from on-the-job injuries may be eligible to file a claim.

As a general rule of thumb, if the worker would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived, the family is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they pass away from their injuries. While workers’ compensation may offer certain death benefits to surviving family members, these benefits are often limited in both duration and quantity. That said, it’s a good idea to file for workers’ compensation before pursuing further litigation to ensure some form of help is received as soon as possible.

Employers are required to provide adequate protection against all of the above risks, in addition to others. When an employer fails to provide this protection or fails to enforce industry safety regulations, they could be held liable for any resulting damages. Similarly, if the injuries or fatality are caused by the actions of a third-party, such as another driver, equipment rental company, etc., the family of the deceased may choose to file a third-party claim when seeking compensation for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

To learn more about construction site hazards or for help filing a wrongful death claim after a construction accident, reach out to a workplace injury attorney.

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