The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that around 252,000 construction sites are scattered throughout the U.S. and more than 6 million people are working at these sites. Although OSHA requires employers to protect their employees from work-related injuries by implementing an effective safety program, employee injuries and fatalities at construction sites in the U.S. remain high.
OSHA is the government program responsible for creating and enforcing the protective workplace health, and safety standards that employers are required to follow: Unfortunately, in the construction industry, these regulations may be overlooked, substantially increasing the likelihood of a bad construction accident.
The most common construction injuries occur due to:
In the construction industry, falls from high levels are responsible for the most employee fatalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015 there were 937 construction fatalities and 350 of those employee deaths occurred due to this type of fall.
Some factors that contribute to these falls include:
The BLS states that in 2015 more than 150 of the workplace fatalities that occurred were due to ladder-related incidents: In addition, there were over 20,000 nonfatal employee injuries associated with ladder-related incidents (among all industries). Citations related to ladder violations rank seventh on OSHA’s annual ‘Top 10’ list of the most cited violations. In 2016, OSHA reported almost 3,000 violations that involved ladders.
Some of the top ladder violations included:
According to OSHA’s estimations relating to the source of fatalities and injuries among those working within the construction industry, nearly 25,000 injuries occur, with up to 36 fatalities each year due to falls related to ladders, and stairways. Approximately 50 percent of those injured in this manner required that the employee takes some time off work.
If scaffolds are misused or erected incorrectly, a fall hazard exists. Nearly 2.3 million construction workers regularly use scaffolds. Each year, there are approximately 50 fatalities and 4,500 injuries associated with scaffolds.
Other reasons for employee injuries and fatalities include:
After sustaining an on-the-job injury, steps must be taken to ensure the injured employee receives the medical care and time-loss compensation he or she is entitled to. A construction accident lawyer with experience representing employees who have been injured on the job in Long Island, can assist the employees as they weave through the legal system in New York.
In 2016, one in five of employees killed in the private industry worked in construction. The BLS reports that the most common causes of death in this industry (apart from highway collisions) were electrocutions, being struck by an object, caught-in/between and falls. These four categories are referred to as the ‘Fatal Four’ because they are usually responsible for the most deaths in the construction industry. In 2016, more than 60 percent of employee deaths in the construction industry occurred due to injuries caused by one of the Fatal Four.