The construction industry is one of the most dangerous for workers. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated that about 20% of worker fatalities in 2019 were in construction. OSHA has identified four major hazards that cause these workers to get injuries or risk death. If you are a construction worker, you should know about them to prevent suffering from an impairing injury and even save your life.
OSHA’S fatal four
Construction sites are prone to accidents. Although workers risk their lives in numerous ways, OSHA identified four major causes of the fatalities in the construction industry. The top four hazards for construction workers are:
Falls are the leading cause of death in construction because it is common for workers to work from an elevation like a ladder, a roof or a scaffold. Your employer must give you proper equipment and training to prevent you from falling and getting serious injuries.
In 2019, struck-by accidents caused more than 15% of worker fatalities. A struck-by happens when the worker gets hit by a flying, falling, swinging or rolling object. To prevent these injuries, you must never position yourself between moving and fixed objects. You should also wear bright-colored clothes when working near vehicles.
A worker has a caught-in/between accident when they get caught or compressed by two or more objects. For example, when a machine pulls someone in or when the walls of an excavation collapse. You can prevent this by never entering an unprotected trench without adequate equipment.
Electrocutions are another cause of severe injuries in construction workers. You can avoid electrocutions by looking for overhead power lines when operating any equipment, maintaining a safe distance from power lines, and being alert to electrical hazards when working with a scaffold, ladder, or another platform.
You can take some measures to prevent injuries from these hazards. However, it is your employer’s responsibility to provide and maintain safety at the construction site. Third parties in the project, like subcontractors, must also provide reliable equipment and machinery to the workers, as well as proper training for the job. If a third party is negligent in some way, and the worker gets an injury because of that, the worker has the right to receive compensation from the careless third party.
Your rightful compensation
If your employer causes your injury, you can ask for Worker’s Compensation. However, if a third party, like a contractor, was at fault for your injury, you have the right to sue them to get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and suffering. You do not have to pay for another’s mistake, and you can fight for your rights in court.