Data provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveals that, of the 4,693 worker deaths in 2016, more than 20 percent (991 workers) occurred in the construction industry. The top four causes of construction worker deaths – dubbed the fatal four – were falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions and getting “caught in” or crushed by equipment. The fatal four accounted for 63.7 percent of the fatal accidents. The exact breakdown is as follows:
- Falls – 384 fatalities
- Struck by an object – 93 fatalities
- Electrocutions – 82 fatalities
- Caught in or between objects – 72 fatalities
The above data is proof that construction sites are one of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States today. Due to heavy equipment, electrical work, temporary structures and extreme heights, serious injuries and deaths are shockingly common in this industry.
It is the employer’s duty to take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards in the workplace that could cause serious injury and death. When employers fail to do so, and a worker is injured or killed, the employer may be liable. Although workers’ compensation often provides benefits for work-related injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation if the employer was negligent?
Was My Employer Negligent?
The help of an experienced MA work injury lawyer is essential when determining whether employer negligence was a factor. Some common indicators of negligence at construction sites include:
- Falls due to unstable, slippery or cluttered walkways or platforms;
- Lack of protection around platform edges;
- Unprotected holes in the floor and walls;
- Improperly positioned ladders;
- Inadequate fall protection equipment and training;
- Trench collapse due to lack of, or improper, safety guards;
- Lack of proper supervision;
- Poor equipment maintenance; and
- Overall lack of training.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you are injured in a work-related construction accident, an experienced Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed. If you lost a loved one in a work-related construction accident, you may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In order to bring a successful wrongful death suit, you should be able to show that:
- Your loved one died as a result of the employer’s negligence;
- You have suffered losses due to your loved one’s death; and
- If your loved one had lived, he or she could have recovered damages for pain and suffering from the defendant.
Losses may include, but are not limited to:
- financial support;
- emotional support;
- consortium between spouses; and
- quality of life.
If you are concerned that your workplace is unsafe, speak to a supervisor immediately. If your supervisor is unable, or unwilling, to address your concerns, you can always report the problem to OSHA, the agency tasked with establishing – and enforcing – workplace safety guidelines. Employers that violate OSHA guidelines will be required to remedy the situation within a specified time period and may face fines for the violation. Continue reading