Work Related Construction Accidents On The Rise
As the economy continues to bounce back from the 2008 Recession, construction is booming. With the surge in construction comes an increase in the number of construction accidents and fatalities across the country.
2014 construction accident and fatality statistics compiled by OSHA confirm the following: There were 4,251 work related fatalities; 20.5% of work related fatalities were construction accidents. That’s a total of 874 fatal accidents in the construction industry. Falls accounted for 349 deaths; electrocution led to 74 deaths; 73 construction workers died as a result of being struck by an object. Another 12 workers were killed after getting caught in an object.
Statics from the Center for Disease Control indicate that construction accident deaths peaked in 2006. Based upon this analysis, construction sites related fatalities have decreased 10%. Despite a decrease in the number of work related construction site fatalities, non-fatal construction accidents appear to be on the rise. Importantly, many long-term injuries can prevent a construction worker from continuing his or her job.
Construction site safety goes beyond wearing a hard hat and back brace. It is important for workers, especially non-union contract workers, to receive in-depth safety education. Proper safety harnesses, boots, gloves, face gear like rebreathers or welding masks, and other safety items must be available and the workers must know how to use them properly. It is vitally important for the construction site manager to ensure all workers follow rigorous safety standards. While construction is one of the most physically demanding and dangerous jobs, and there’s no way to prevent all accidents, education and enforcement of safety regulations will go a long way towards reducing the number of accidents which occur.
A recent conference on construction industry technological advances highlights some of the up-and-coming technology that may help save workers’ lives. Two of the most interesting developments to improve safety on construction sites include the possibility of using drones to aerially capture images of advancing construction and potential safety hazards, as well as further installation of robots, which can take over repetitive tasks to prevent muscle and joint problems later in life. The goal of implementing new technology will save the corporation money, and prevent potential construction accidents.
Anyone who is hurt in a construction accident, or has lost a loved one in a construction related accident, has a potential workers’ compensation and third party negligence claim.