Every day in Nashville and across the country, construction workers risk their lives on the job. It might be difficult for those who don’t work in the construction industry to understand the dangers these men and women face. Even with protective equipment and procedures, there are accidents that seriously injure or kill construction workers. Some of these accidents could have been prevented if the construction company, property owner or workers had followed safety protocol.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 828 construction workers lost their lives in on-the-job accidents last year. This equates to one out of every five worker fatalities total, making the construction industry one of America’s most dangerous jobs. OSHA defines four types of construction accidents as the most common “fatal four” workplace mishaps. These are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and being caught in or between objects or machinery. More than half of all construction fatalities can be attributed to the fatal four.
Electrical Construction & Maintenance has listed the top three safety violations in the construction industry that can result in the wrongful death of a construction worker. These include the following:
- Scaffolding violations – Falls account for one third of construction site accidents, many of them by those working on scaffolding. Common violations include constructing the structure on an unstable surface and not fully planking the platform area.
- Grounding – Deaths have occurred from construction companies failing to ground or de-energize electrical wiring and equipment. Damaged power tools have also resulted in electrocutions.
- Excavations – Trenches and other excavations need to be properly braced, shored and sloped with a clear route of escape from a cave-in. However, many construction companies don’t enforce these lifesaving measures.
Ensuring that management and workers follow these crucial safety procedures can prevent countless construction workers from being injured or killed. If a construction company fails to enforce safety rules, it may be held liable for accidents.