Construction work is dangerous work. Construction workers often work with heavy machinery, at great heights or in trenches. Construction work is not an unusual sight in New Jersey, whether it is a road project, the erection of a new building or the renovation of an old building. However, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, of the 4,479 worker deaths in calendar year 2018 in the private industry, just over 21% were in the construction industry.
What are the construction industry’s “Fatal Four”?
The “Fatal Four” refers to the four most common causes of construction worker deaths in the private industry, outside of highway collisions. They include:
- Being struck by an object
- Electrocution; and
- Being caught-in/between objects
In calendar year 2018, 33.5% of construction worker fatalities were caused by falls. In that same calendar year, being struck by an object caused 11.1% of construction worker fatalities. In addition, 8.5% of construction worker fatalities in calendar year 2018 were caused by electrocutions. Finally, in calendar year 2018, being caught-in/between objects caused 5.5% construction worker fatalities.
Were you injured in a construction accident?
OSHA anticipates that if the “Fatal Four” were eliminated, just over 590 workers’ lives across the nation could be saved each year. However, this does not account for the many people who were injured but not killed in construction accidents.
Depending on the situation, some injured construction workers may be able to seek compensation over-and-above workers’ compensation benefits. If a third party is liable for the injury, it may be possible to pursue a legal claim. Construction accident injuries can lead to hefty medical bills, lost time and wages at work and pain and suffering. Personal injury attorneys in New Jersey may be a useful resource to workers injured on construction sites.