ADVOCATES FOR INJURED CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one out of every five workplace fatalities is a construction worker. Because of the dangerous nature of the job, injuries are oftentimes serious and life-threatening.
When employers fail to follow worker safety regulations and implement proper safety programs, construction workers are put in danger. Thousands of workers in the construction industry suffer from serious on the job injuries due to the negligence of construction companies. Many workers that have suffered life-changing injuries could be living normal lives if employers put their safety and well-being before profit.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT
The immediate aftermath of a construction injury can be overwhelming. You have likely just sustained a serious injury along with severe pain and uncertainty. Your employer and insurance companies may approach you and attempt to have you sign your rights away as an injured worker. It is important that you know your rights and that those rights are protected. By hiring the experienced construction injury attorneys at Thomas J. Henry, you are ensured that your case is handled properly and efficiently and that your best interests are secure. Allow us to handle the hassles and legal processes while you focus on healing.
By following these simple steps, you can put yourself in a better position to achieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Remember, Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call and evaluate your construction accident.
- Seek medical attention immediately
- File a report with your employer as soon as possible and receive copies of all documentation
- If possible, take photographs of the work site and any tools or equipment involved in the accident
- Collect names and contact information of witnesses to the accident, including coworkers and bystanders
- Document any changes in your health due to the construction accident as well as any visits with a doctor
- Contact an experienced construction injury attorney
As is the case in most personal injury cases, construction accident lawsuits benefit from starting the legal process as soon as possible. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys will take immediate action on your case and start collecting and preserving evidence, researching case law, and determining which expert witnesses to utilize on your behalf
Furthermore, our experienced construction injury lawyers will begin investigating into whether a third party was involved in your accident. If negligence or misconduct from a third party (such as a contractor, architect, engineer, or equipment manufacturers) lead to your injury, a lawsuit may be filed to recover damages in addition to a worker’s compensation claim with the employer.
CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT INJURY STATISTICS
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2015,
- 937 workers in the private construction industry were killed on the job
- This is the highest total since 975 workers died in 2008
- About one in five (21%) worker deaths in 2015 were in construction
- An estimated 204,700 workers in the private construction industry were injured on the job in 2015
- The leading causes of private sector worker deaths in the construction industry (excluding highway collisions) were falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught in/between. The “Fatal Four” account for 64.2 percent of all fatalities in the construction industry
- Falls — 364 deaths (38.8% of total construction deaths)
- Struck by object — 90 deaths (9.6%)
- Electrocutions — 81 deaths (8.6%)
- Caught-in/between — 67 deaths (7.2%)
- Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save 602 workers’ lives every year
- 210 contracted workers in the private construction industry died on the job
- These states led the United States in construction worker deaths in 2015
- Texas — 124
- California — 75
- Florida — 66
- New York — 53
- Georgia — 38
- Illinois — 38
COMMON CAUSES OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS
The “Fatal Four” causes of construction accidents — falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between — accounted for 64.2 percent of all construction industry fatal injuries in 2015. Eliminating the “Fatal Four” would save approximately 602 workers’ lives every year.
- Falls — The leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, falls claim the lives of 362 workers on average each year. Hazards that cause the most fall-related injuries and deaths include:
- Unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes
- Many work sites have unprotected sides, edges, and uncovered holes in the floor and wall at some point during construction. Unprotected openings can cause injuries due to falls and falling objects.
- Improper scaffold construction
- When heavy equipment and building materials are present on a scaffold with limited space, falls can occur. Without properly installed guardrail systems or the use of fall protection, serious injuries and death can be a result of a fall.
- Unguarded exposed steel rebars
- Protruding steel reinforcing bars are extremely hazardous. Stumbling onto an unprotected/unguarded steel rebar can cause impalement, serious injuries, and death.
- Misuse of portable ladders
- Ladders that are positioned improperly create a big fall risk. If a ladder is on uneven ground, is unsteady, or defective, falls can cause injuries or death.
- Unprotected sides, wall openings, and floor holes
- Struck-by — These injuries can be caused by vehicles, falling objects, or in the process of building walls. In 2015, 83 construction workers were killed after being struck by a non-vehicle object.
- Approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes
- Falling or flying objects
- Objects can fall from construction machinery, scaffolding, or anywhere that overhead work is happening.
- Falling masonry walls
- Most incidents occur when jacks or lifting equipment are used to position slabs and walls, or when shoring is required until structures can support themselves
- Electrocutions — In 2015, there were 81 electrocution deaths in the construction industry. Electrocutions can be caused by several different accidents, including:
- Contact with power lines
- Fatal electrocution is the main risk, but burns and falls from elevations are also hazards.
- Issues with ground-fault protection
- This can cause electrical burns, explosions, fire, or death.
- Improper use of equipment
- Human error can cause severe injury or death.
- Contact with power lines
- Caught in-between (Trenching) — In 2015, 67 deaths in the construction industry were a result of a caught-in or caught-between, trenching, or excavation injury. Lack of oxygen or exposure to harmful chemicals can be deadly in some instances. Causes of these injuries include:
- No protective system
- Failure to inspect trench and protective systems
- Unsafe spoil-pile placement
- Unsafe access/egress
TOP TEN MOST FREQUENTLY CITED OSHA VIOLATIONS
Every year, OSHA releases the top ten most frequently cited safety and health violations from across the country. Approximately 32,000 workplace inspections take place each year, and the top ten list of violations rarely change.
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Lockout/tagout (Proper lockout and tagout procedures can protect workers from unexpected machinery startups or release of stored energy)
- Powered industrial trucks
- Machine guarding
- Electrical wiring
- Electrical, general requirements
OTHER CAUSES OF CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
- Unsafe working conditions
- Safety code violations
- OSHA violations
- Improper site design or inspection
- Dangerous work areas
- Roadway safety defects
- Faulty stairs
- Ceiling tile failures and wall tile failures
- Defective equipment
- Anchor bolt failures
- Defective power tools
- Improperly stored materials
EXPERT WITNESSES FOR YOUR CONSTRUCTION INJURY LAWSUIT
At Thomas J. Henry, we employ an array of experts to provide expert reports and testimony in every construction injury case. Finding the right expert for your unique situation can prove to be crucial in achieving a positive result. Expert witnesses provide expertise and specialized knowledge that an average person may not have.
We have spent years finding the best expert witnesses from across the country to employ on our clients’ behalf. Each witness undergoes a thorough examination and questioning process before ever taking part in any aspect of a case. In a construction accident lawsuit, we may employ the services of the following experts:
- Workplace safety compliance experts
- Industrial accident reconstruction experts
- Premises maintenance experts
- OSHA consultants
- Safety equipment experts
- Ladder experts
- Occupational and environmental health experts
- Hazardous chemicals experts
- Process safety management experts
- Physicians, psychical therapists, and other healthcare professionals
- Fire and explosion investigators
Expert witnesses can provide detailed information regarding your construction site injury. Our construction injury attorneys are always looking for intuitive ways to use experts in construction accident cases.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED CONSTRUCTION INJURY ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one sustained a serious injury in a construction accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Accidents that occur on construction sites can cause severe, life-altering injuries, causing physical, emotional, and financial pain. Our experienced construction injury lawyers work diligently to make sure our clients are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process. At Thomas J. Henry, we have a record of achieving real results for our clients. Let us assist you with your construction accident injury. Contact us today for a free case review.