Sometimes lack of proper safety protocol can contribute to serious—even fatal—construction worker accidents.
New York residents in any type of job or industry can be susceptible to an accident on the job. Not only do people in the construction industry face an even higher risk of such accidents, but they are in great danger of experiencing fatal workplace accidents as well.
Such was the case for two men recently according to the New York Times. One man fell 30 feet to his death when the platform in an elevator collapsed beneath him. The named construction company on the job site had been previously cited this year for other safety violations. Reports indicate the employer is noted as having violated safety codes in this case as well.
Another man lost his life after he was crushed by blocks when a retaining wall collapsed on him, trapping and crushing him. Two other men were also involved but survived the incident. In this situation also, prior safety problems were on record and one included an unstable wall. The victim in this case was only 19 years old and had moved to the United States about one month before he died.
Common causes of fatal construction accidents
The above two examples give credence to what the Occupational Safety Health Administration notes as the fatal four . These are the four most common causes of fatalities on construction job sites. Falls and being trapped or crushed are two of these four causes. The other two are being struck by items and being electrocuted.
OSHA indicates that roughly 57 percent of all construction fatalities in 2013 were attributed to these four factors. Details for that year include the following:
- A total of 794 fatalities were recorded among construction workers.
- 294 of those deaths were due to falls.
- 82 of those deaths were due to workers being struck by objects.
- 71 of those deaths were due to electrocutions.
- 21 of those deaths were due to workers becoming trapped.
These statistics are national. New York information can be seen in data collected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2012, 202 people died in work-related accidents in the state and 38 of those deaths were construction workers. Out of the 38 construction worker fatalities, 22 died due falls, slips or trips. Five more people died after being struck by items. Exposure to harmful substances and transportation accidents contributed to the 11 remaining deaths.
What can families do?
People left behind after losing a loved one in a fatal construction accident deserve compensation. Working with an attorney is recommended in these situations.