How serious is the risk for construction workers in PA?
Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Many deadly accidents result from preventable safety violations.
There are many industries in America that are considered to be far more dangerous than others. Despite safety standards being set in place and protecting countless workers every day, there are still accidents that injure or claim the lives of workers, especially in jobs that are hazardous. One of the most dangerous jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country is construction. Many people take construction for granted, but those who make buildings and roads safer and more convenient for everyone put their lives on the line almost every day.
According to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 899 construction workers were killed in 2014, accounting for one out of every five fatal workplace injuries overall.
Safety violations are a major contributor to accidents
The vast majority of these accidents may have been prevented. Many construction site accidents are the result of safety violations. Employers and workers are required to abide by specific safety rules on construction sites, such as having access to safety equipment, receiving adequate training and observing proper safety procedures. Even so, many of these safety precautions may be neglected by workers or supervisors. The top violations on construction sites include scaffolding equipment not being properly constructed, supported or fully planked on walking areas; electrical equipment not being shut off or grounded before being worked on; and trenches and excavations not being safely shored to guard against a collapse or cave-in.
What is the "fatal four"?
These violations, as well as other types of construction accidents, frequently result in falls, electric shock, asphyxiation and being crushed. The most common construction accidents are known as the "fatal four," and include the following:
- Being caught between objects
- Being struck by an object
Safety experts estimate that if the fatal four were eliminated, thousands of construction workers would avoid being seriously injured in accidents and 435 lives would be saved each year.
It is unknown whether a safety violation contributed to a tragic accident at the King of Prussia Mall in April 2015. However, the incident highlighted one of the top dangers in the industry. According to WPVI-TV News, one worker was fatally electrocuted while he and another man were cutting electric cables that had not been de-energized. The other worker was injured, but recovered.
Those who were impacted by a construction site accident have the right to pursue compensation for their medical expenses. Since the workers' compensation claims process is often complicated, it may help to speak with an experienced attorney in Media.