If you work in construction, nobody has to tell you that your job is dangerous. However, some dangers are more significant than others.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top four causes of fatalities in construction include:
- Struck-by injuries
- Caught-in or caught-between accidents
These are collectively known in the industry as "the fatal four." However, many workers are also injured or maimed every year in these kinds of accidents.
Falls are, by far, the most common type of accident, accounting for nearly 37% of fatalities. Workers may tumble off the side of a scaffold, fall through a hole in the floor or topple while on a ladder -- and that's just for starters.
Being struck by an object (like a falling tool or a vehicle), by comparison, only accounts for 10.3% of construction deaths. Electrocutions are similar, causing 8.9% of fatalities. Getting caught between or in something (like a collapsing trench) is responsible for 2.6% of worker deaths. Injuries short of death are also common, including amputations, disfigurement, spinal and neck injuries, paralysis and traumatic head injuries.
Your exact job also affects your risk. Ordinary laborers suffer accidents more commonly than any other type of employee -- with front-line supervisors being injured about half as often as regular employees. Roofers suffer 11% of the fatalities, while electricians and carpenters each account for 7% of deaths.
An injury on the job at a construction site can cost you your ability to earn a living and live a normal life. It can damage your family's financial security and future as well. If you've been injured -- or a loved one was killed -- while working construction, find out more about your legal rights to compensation.