Work-Related Fatal Injuries Are On The Rise – What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
Work-related fatal injuries are increasing in the United States. These tragic accidents are difficult for family members to cope with because many California construction accidents are preventable. In addition, family members may have to fight for death benefits that they are entitled to receive and should receive without a fight. A San Francisco wrongful death attorney can help a family seek justice for their loved one killed in a construction accident.
Fatal Construction Accidents in 2016
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there was a 7 percent increase in the number of fatal workplace accidents in 2016. In 2016, 5,190 people lost their lives because of work-related injuries, which was the third consecutive annual increase in the number of annual workplace deaths. It is also the first time since 2008 that the number of workplace fatalities rose above 5,000 in one year.
Fatalities in the construction industry increased from 937 in 2015 to 991 in 2016. One in five of the work-related deaths in 2016 were in the construction industry. Specialty trade contractors had the largest number of deaths in the construction category with 631 fatalities, followed by building construction (182) and heavy/civil engineering construction (159). Roofers had a record high number of deaths as did first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers.
Causes of Fatal Construction Accidents
According to OHSA, the “Fatal Four” of construction accidents resulted in almost two-thirds of the work-related deaths in the construction industry in 2016. The Fatal Four accidents in the construction industry are:
- Falls accounted for 38.7 percent of the deaths during 2016 (384)
- Struck by an object caused 93 deaths
- Electrocutions resulted in 82 deaths
- Caught-in/Between accidents caused 72 deaths
Three of the most frequently cited OSHA violations in 2017 occurred in the construction industry, including the most common violation, which was fall protection. Violations for ladders and scaffolding were also in the top ten OSHA violations in 2017.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Construction Accidents?
Owners and employers need to take steps to protect their employees from construction accidents. Holding regular safety meetings to review workplace safety standards, practices, and procedures must be a priority for all employers. In addition, employers should supply safety equipment, provide fall protection, require regular breaks, and provide ongoing safety training.
However, as an employee, you should also take precautions to decrease your risk of sustaining a fatal injury at work. Things that you can do include:
- Always wear your safety equipment, including hard hats, vests, gloves, steel-toed boots, pads, etc.
- Follow your employer’s and OSHA’s safety standards and practices
- Learn and understand the emergency procedures for accidents and injuries
- Do not use equipment that is damaged
- Remain focused and attentive at work – distraction can be deadly on a construction site
- Take regular breaks and stay hydrated
- Report a dangerous or hazardous situation immediately
- Avoid horseplay and practical jokes
- Do not work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Talking With a California Construction Accident Attorney Can Help
If you are injured at work or your family member was injured or died in a work-related accident, contact the experienced San Francisco wrongful death attorneys at Deldar Legal today to discuss filing an injury claim. We can help you recover the benefits and compensation you deserve.
Posted in: Workplace Accidents