This results to about 1,000 deaths due to various construction mishaps, which makes it the most dangerous industry in the United States.
The risk of injury and/or death is so high, that in fact, about 15 percent of all workers' compensation claims in the state of California is related to construction accidents.
But what are the most common causes of injuries in construction sites?
To answer that, here are the most common construction accidents according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
1. Fall Accidents
The leading cause of injuries and death in the construction industry are slip, trip and fall accidents.
In fact, it is so common that it comprises one-third of all the construction related deaths in the country.
The most common cause of slip, trip and fall accidents include:
- Wall openings
- Floor holes
- Unprotected sides
- Defective or misused portable ladders
- Improper construction of scaffolding platforms
- Protruding steel rebars.
2. Struck by Equipment and Machineries
Another common cause of construction related injuries and deaths are being struck by heavy machinery or other objects in the site.
The three most common "struck by" accidents in construction sites include:
- Vehicles (bulldozers, cement truck, forklift, crane)
- Falling objects (rocks, steel, tools, other equipment and machineries)
- Collapsing masonry walls
3. Cave in accidents
One of the most feared accidents in the construction industry is cave-ins due to various trenching hazards.
The danger is so great in excavation work that most safety experts say that the risk of death is doubled compared to general construction.
Aside from being trapped by falling soil and rocks, workers are also in danger of asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen, be poisoned due to inhalation of toxic fumes and even drowning due to accumulated water below the ground.
The most common cause of construction cave-ins include:
- Unsafe passage going in and out of the trench
- Lack of protective system
- Failure to inspect soil before excavation
- Unsafe spoil-pile placement
4. Electrical Accidents
Approximately 350 deaths are related to electrical accidents in the US every year including those from the construction industry.
In the construction industry, electrical accidents are usually caused by:
- Lack of ground-fault protection
- Defective and improper use of extension chords
- Contact with power lines
- Missing or discontinued path to the ground
If a worker is injured due to a construction accident, then he is entitled to a partial income from worker's compensation.
However, taking advantage of worker's compensation also surrenders the employee's right to sue the employer.
The worker should consult a construction accident expert, personal injury lawyer to determine what would be the best course of action.