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Fatalities are common in the construction industry

Construction seems to be a never-ending process in Brooklyn, whether it is road improvements, erecting new buildings or refurbishing existing buildings. However, construction work is dangerous work and fatalities are common in the construction industry.

The scope of the problem

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in calendar year 2019 5,333 workers died in workplace accidents. The construction industry was especially hit hard. One in every five worker deaths in the private industry in calendar year 2019 were in construction.

The top four causes of construction fatalities

According to OSHA, the top four causes of construction worker deaths are: falls, being struck by an object, being caught-in/in-between objects and electrocutions.

To prevent falls, workers should be provided with fall arrest equipment and there should be a properly installed and maintained perimeter protection. Floor openings should be covered, secured and labeled if open.

To prevent being struck by an object, workers should not be put in a position where they are standing between moving and fixed objects. They should also be provided with high-visibility clothing.

To prevent being caught-in/in-between accidents, proper protections should be in place in trenches, either by sloping, shoring, benching or installing trench shield systems.

Finally, to prevent electrocutions, utilities should be located and identified prior to starting a project. Workers should be kept a safe distance away from power lines, should not use portable electric tools unless they are grounded or double insulated and there should be ground-fault circuit interrupters in place.

Learn more about construction accidents

Unfortunately, workplace accidents are common in the construction industry. When a worker is injured on the job, they may want to determine what options they have for compensation, including pursuing workers’ compensation benefits or a legal claim if appropriate. Our firm’s website on construction accidents may be a useful resource to those who want further information on this topic.