The construction industry is one of the most dangerous professions in America. Construction workers are prone to serious and fatal injuries resulting from a multitude of job hazards. The most prevalent type of construction accident involving fatal injuries is caused by workers being struck by objects. The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has named struck-by accidents one of the Focus Four hazards in the industry. The other three in this group are falls, electrocution, and those involving workers caught in-between objects.
In a period from 2011 to 2015, 804 construction workers were fatally injured when they were struck by an object, a piece of equipment, or by a construction vehicle. Most of these accidents involved objects and equipment falling from an elevated area onto a worker below. Highway, street, and bridge maintenance workers and construction workers over the age of 65 are at the greatest risk for serious and fatal injuries from struck-by hazards.
According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, most of the serious and fatal struck-by accidents involve passenger vehicles and trucks traveling through construction work zones. Recent data shows that speeding in construction zones is a major cause of struck by accidents in the U.S. Many states across the country have responded to this research by adopting new legislation that doubles fines for those who speed through a construction work zone.
OSHA has focused a large effort on bringing awareness of struck-by accidents to those in the construction industry. Recognizing the elements of struck-by hazards and promoting training and safe practice within areas of high risk is imperative to reducing the number of serious and fatal accidents.
The four main areas of danger for being struck by objects include those where objects or equipment can fall from elevated surfaces, and in situations where objects can become airborne when working with power tools or when grinding materials. Swinging objects, such as cranes moving heavy loads, can strike a worker and cause fatal consequences. Even ground level equipment can be dangerous, especially when construction vehicles and equipment strike workers.
OSHA suggests that all construction employers spend vital time training workers on how to avoid struck-by accidents. Knowing how to avoid areas or work safely within those areas prone to struck-by hazards will prevent serious injuries and save lives. Construction companies are advised to set policies regarding ongoing enforcement of safety procedures with strict consequences for failing to adhere to them. As with most construction accidents, serious injuries and fatalities can be prevented with proper safety training and adherence to OSHA guidelines.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced team of South Jersey construction accident lawyers at Williams Cedar can help you claim the maximum amount of compensation available. Call us at 856-874-7500 or 215-557-0099 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Haddonfield, New Jersey and Philadelphia, and we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, Cherry Hill, and nationwide.