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Construction Accidents Leading Cause of On-The-Job Fatalities

RTA_9655Construction work increases with the start of the warmer weather months in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states. The job of a construction worker continues to be one of the toughest, and getting the right safety training and equipment can mean the difference between life and death.

The injuries that can result from construction accidents can be catastrophic and include spine and back injuries as well as traumatic brain injuries. According to the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 4383 workers were killed on the job in 2012. Out of 3945 worker fatalities in private industry in 2012, nearly 20% were in construction. The leading cause of worker deaths on construction sites was falls.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor reported that nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2012, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.4 cases per 100 full-time workers. Fatal work injuries in private construction increased 5% in 2012, while total hours worked increased by 1%.

Last month, OSHA announced national stand-down for fall prevention in construction, which will take place from June 2 to 6. Stand-down will help raise awareness among employees and workers about the hazards of falls, which account for the highest number of deaths in the construction industry.

According to Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA falls account for more than one-third of all of the deaths in the construction industry. Falls from elevation accounted for 269 of the 775 construction fatalities recorded in 2012. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently sited OSHA standards in 2012.

During the stand-down, employers and employees are asked to discuss fall prevention measures in constructions and topics including ladder safety, scaffolding safety, and roofing work safety. This fall prevention campaign, which was first started in 2012, provides employers with lifesaving information and educational materials on how to plan ahead to prevent falls, providing the right equipment and train employees on the proper use of equipment.

Besides falls, the other leading dangers in construction include transportation incidents, getting struck by objects, electrocution, and exposure to harmful substances or environments. According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, specialty trade contractors suffered the highest number of fatal injuries, accounting for nearly 70% of the deadly construction falls. They include those working in foundation, structure and building exterior. Transportation incidents were highest among specialty trade contractors and also heavy and civil engineering construction. For more information on how to improve safety in the construction industry, visit https://www.osha.gov/doc/.

If you have been injured in a construction accident or have a worker’s comp issue, the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can fight for you. Call us at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 855-866-5529.

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