In 2019, construction work ranked as the most dangerous occupation in the state of Florida, with 83 out of 306 fatalities occurring because of construction and extraction occupations. Working on a construction site is dangerous for many reasons. There are so many things that can go wrong and negligence is very common.
When someone is injured on a construction site because of another person’s negligence, they may have a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
How common are construction worker deaths?
In the United States, one in five workplace fatalities is construction-related. That’s 20% of all workplace fatalities, which is a big deal, especially when you think about how many construction workers there are. In general, construction work only makes up about 6% of the workforce, meaning that the rates at which construction workers are dying are pretty monumental.
In 2019, there were a total of 1,061 construction worker deaths, with falls accounting for approximately 33% of all deaths.
Causes of Fatal Injuries at a Construction Site
There are four main causes of fatality on construction sites, referred to as the “fatal four”. These are not the only causes of fatalities, but they are the most common ones. The fatal four includes:
About 39% of construction site deaths occur because of falls from a great height. Construction workers have to work from high up, and if they aren’t safe, an accident is likely to occur.
Falls can be caused by another person’s negligence if:
- Wall openings, floor holes, and sides aren’t properly protected
- Scaffolding isn’t constructed properly or maintained well
- Portable ladders aren’t used correctly
Struck by an Object
Because there are so many cranes and heavy equipment on construction sites, an injury or fatality could occur when someone is struck by one of these machines. These accidents may occur if the driver or machinery operator isn’t paying close enough attention to where they’re going or what they’re doing. They may also cause an accident or death if they haven’t been trained properly on how to use the machinery.
Electrocutions can occur when workers make contact with power lines, when there are equipment errors, or when ground fault protection isn’t implemented properly. This type of injury most commonly occurs when someone doesn’t ensure that the electricity has been fully turned off, resulting in an injury to someone else.
Ground faults can also cause damage to many people at a time, causing explosions, fires, and electrical burns to anyone in the area.
Caught in Between Objects
Crushing injuries or fatality may occur when someone is caught in between two objects. They may pass away because of lack of oxygen, exposure to harmful chemicals that they couldn’t get away from, or compartmental syndrome, which is common after crush injuries.
Florida Labor Statistics on Occupational Safety
The Florida Occupational Health and Safety program works hand in hand with the Occupational Safety and Health program to gather information about their workers and the amount of work-related injuries that occur each year. Here are some of the workplace injury statistics they gathered most recently.
- 11.6% of Floridians were employed in high fatality risk occupations.
- There are an average of 11,900 work-related hospitalizations each year.
- There are 185,700 non-fatal work-related accidents and injuries each year.
Average Cost of Workplace Injuries
In 2019, the average medical cost associated with a workplace injury was $42,000, while the average cost associated with a workplace fatality was over $1 million. Either way, that’s a lot of financial responsibility to put on anyone. When you’re injured, or when a loved one passes away, you may feel inundated with debt, with no way to get out.
When you hire a workplace injury attorney, you can rest easy knowing that they’ll work as hard as possible to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Common Non-Fatal Occupational Injuries
There are plenty of different types of injuries that are caused while at the workplace. Injuries that aren’t fatal are often minor. However, people may have a variety of different injuries associated with the accident.
Catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury are common, especially in the case of a fall. Crushing injuries are also catastrophic, especially since they put the victim at risk for compartment syndrome, which can be life-threatening.
Burns, Cuts, and Lacerations
Burns, cuts, and lacerations are incredibly common on construction sites. First, burns can occur because of explosions, hazardous chemicals, and electrical problems. Cuts and lacerations can be deep, putting people at risk for infection. Both types of injury can cause scarring.
Fractures and Breaks
In the case of falls and crushing injuries, broken bones and fractures are pretty common. These types of injuries generally heal on their own (in a cast) unless they’re severe, in which case surgery is required to set them into the right place before placing them into a cast.
What to do if You’re Involved in a Construction Site Accident
If you’re involved in a construction site accident, you should always contact an attorney as soon as you can. This usually means calling right after you receive medical treatment. Don’t sign anything from your employer, and avoid speaking to them about how the accident happened.