Every year, hundreds of construction workers die on construction sites in New York City and across the country. Thousands more suffer serious, and in many cases, life-changing injuries. To give you an idea of how dangerous construction sites really are, among the many jobs there are, one in five work-related deaths occurs in the construction industry. Among construction workers, one in 200 will die on the job.
In fact, some fatal construction-related accidents are so common that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a list of what it calls the “four deadly hazards. These four types of accidents account for more than half of the deaths on construction sites nationwide. Each of the four types of fatal accidents is preventable, and according to OSHA, “eliminating the four deadly hazards could save the lives of 508 workers in the United States each year.
The four most common causes of death on construction sites
So, what are the four deadly dangers?
- Falls: Falls account for about 40% of all construction-related deaths, including falls from elevated places (for example, many of the buildings being constructed in New York City today) and falls from dangerous ladders and scaffolding. Construction companies and contractors have a responsibility to provide safe tools and workplaces for their employees. Unfortunately, many fail to meet this obligation.
- Electrocution: According to OSHA, about 10% of construction-related deaths are caused by electrocution. Although many deadly electrocutions occur while working with electrical wiring, a large number of non-electrical workers also die from electrocution. Exposed wires during the construction and demolition stages, faulty wiring, and a variety of other electrical problems cause numerous deaths each year.
- Falling or flying objects: Falling or flying objects are a dangerous (and often fatal) risk on all types of construction sites. All too often, tools, debris, and construction materials cause fatal injuries that should have been avoided. OSHA reports that flying and falling objects cause about 10% of fatalities on construction sites.
- Entrapment: The fourth leading cause of fatal construction accidents is getting trapped inside or between objects. This includes accidents such as getting trapped behind a construction truck or under a load of materials. Although these causes account for less than 2% of deaths, they are often among the most tragic construction fatalities.
What if my loved one died while working in construction?
If you lost a loved one while he or she was working on a construction site in New York City, you may be entitled to significant monetary compensation. You may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, in many cases, the family can file a wrongful death lawsuit to try to obtain full monetary compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Christopher Gorayeb, a New York City construction accident attorney, has represented accident victims and their families for over 30 years, and together, he and the other attorneys at Gorayeb & Associates have recovered over $1 billion for their clients’ losses.
If you or someone you know has been injured on a construction site call Gorayeb & Associates at 646-350-3820 for a free consultation.