Statistics published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that 21.4 percent of workplace fatalities in private industry during 2015 were in construction. However, construction workers are not always responsible for dangerous workplace conditions in this industry. Despite the many ways that construction workers can be harmed on the job, general contractors, other entities responsible for safety on the job site as well as machinery suppliers and manufacturers can and should be responsible for hazardous workplace conditions. Construction accidents may be caused by:
- Falls: OSHA statistics show that falls are the primary cause of fatal construction accidents. In 2015, 38.8 percent of fatal construction accidents were caused by falls. Workers who trip or fall from scaffolding, off ladders, through holes or skylights, and off roofs can also suffer life-altering spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.
- Heavy machinery: Various types of heavy machinery can be required for construction projects. Bulldozers, cranes, forklifts and scaffolds are common pieces of equipment that are found at construction sites.
- Electrocution: Construction sites may contain multiple sources of electricity and potential danger. Wires or other machinery may deliver fatal shocks to workers who lack protection or training and when the electricity should not have exposed the workers to this danger. OSHA statistics show that electrocution was responsible for 8.6 percent of fatal construction accidents in 2015. Workers can also suffer severe burn injuries and disfigurement after an electrical shock.
- Falling objects: Tools and other objects can fall from heights and strike workers. Workers who are hit by these objects may die or suffer traumatic brain injuries. According to OSHA, falling objects were responsible for 9.6 of the fatal construction accidents in 2015.
- Being caught between objects: OSHA statistics show that 7.2 percent of the fatal construction accidents that occurred in 2015 involved workers who were caught between objects. This type of accident can occur when workers are struck by collapsing equipment or structures.
- Traffic accidents: Roadside construction workers can be hit by motor vehicles. In fact, this is a leading cause of death in the construction industry.
Can I File a Construction Accident Claim?
It may be possible for a construction worker who is injured on the job or their surviving family members to file a construction accident claim. Many construction sites involve multiple companies working together on projects. Defective machinery or equipment could also cause accidents. It may be possible to file a third-party claim, which allows for pain and suffering damages as well as past and future medical expenses and loss of future earnings and earning capacity.
For example, our law firm handled a case where a parking garage collapsed, leading to five deaths and more than 30 injuries. Our attorneys secured a $101 million settlement for those affected by the Tropicana Parking Garage collapse.
The Philadelphia construction accident attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. could help you determine possible legal options during a free consultation.