Visit just about any city in Massachusetts or Rhode Island and you’ll likely spot new buildings going up, bridges being repaired and highways rerouted. As cities like Providence, New Bedford and Fall River grow and expand there will always be a need for construction workers. The construction companies and contractors that vie for these projects often have to bid a lower estimate to get the job, but this may come at a cost. Factors like long hours and tight deadlines inevitably lead to more construction site accidents and workers compensation claims. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction accidents account for roughly one out of every five workplace fatalities. This is usually due to employers failing to follow federal and state safety regulations and failing to implement proper safety programs.
OSHA’s “Fatal Four” Construction Accidents
With 20% of all worker fatalities in private industry occurring in construction, OSHA put together a list of the “Fatal Four” causes of construction site accident deaths. These four categories are responsible for nearly two thirds of construction worker fatalities and eliminating them through awareness and safety measures would save nearly 600 workers’ lives every year.
- Workplace Falls – The leading cause of construction workplace deaths, work-related falls account for more than 100,000 injuries and fatalities each year. Work-related falls can also result in catastrophic injuries like broken bones, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries and loss of limbs. Proper fall protection such as guardrails and toe-boards around elevated open-sided platforms, as well as stair railings and safety harnesses should always be provided by the employer of any job site.
- Struck-by-Object Accidents – These include scenarios where a worker may be caught off-guard by objects that are falling such as a suspended load coming loose, being struck by flying debris or by swinging/rolling equipment. An employer can prevent these dangers by assuring that workers wear hard hats, safety glasses and face shielding when on site. Proper training and signage is also essential to help assure that workers know to never position themselves beneath suspended loads, steer clear of equipment in use and to always secure tools and materials.
- Electrocution Accidents – According to OSHA studies, electrical hazards cause more than 300 workplace deaths and 4,000 workplace injuries each year. Electricity can be a serious workplace hazard, and many of these injuries and fatalities could be avoided by taking the proper precautions. Training, awareness and personal protective equipment are imperative when working with and around electricity. Even a relatively minor jolt or scare can lead to a work-related fall or other injury. If a worker is shocked or electrocuted to any degree, be sure that they immediately see a doctor for evaluation.
- Caught-in-Between Accidents – The fourth leading cause of construction workplace deaths, caught-in-between accidents occur when a worker’s body part becomes caught, crushed or squeezed between two or more objects as a result of collapsing materials. This includes parts of the body being pulled into unguarded machinery or rolled over by heavy equipment. These accidents tend to occur as a result of working hastily and losing focus. Employers should encourage workers to work smart, always staying aware of their co-workers and situations around them.
If you or your family’s breadwinner are severely injured or tragically killed by these or any of the other many dangers on a construction site, the next step may not be clear. Many construction sites will have several different contractors and employers on site at any given time. This can make it difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries. Finding an experienced workers compensation lawyer to help determine who is responsible for your accident, recover lost wages and pay medical bills will make all of the difference in your personal injury claim.
Dussault & Zatir: Experienced Construction Accident Worker’s Compensation Attorneys In Massachusetts & Rhode Island
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with an experienced attorney. Dussault & Zatir P.C. has lawyers on call at +1-800-542-4LAW to answer all of your personal injury claim questions. We have a great deal of experience handling such cases and have achieved big, successful and fast results. We know what you are going through and what you need. With offices in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton, Massachusetts, as well as an office in Providence, Rhode Island, if you’ve been injured, our lawyers are here to fight for you.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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