For most people, going to work is not inherently hazardous to their health. However, if you work in construction, construction site accidents are an issue that must be dealt with caution and proper training.
A few weeks ago, two workers were injured in a Seattle, Washington construction site accident. They were taken to a local hospital after they were injured at a parking garage under construction at the intersection of First Avenue and King Street.
The construction workers were working on the roof of the parking structure when they were struck by a wall of rebar. They were brought down with ropes and pulleys by the Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team. According to the fire department, one of the workers had “moderate to serious” injuries while the other man’s injuries weren’t as bad. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
According to statistics compiled by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration, there were 721 fatal construction accidents in 2011. But it gets worse. That only accounts for a small general construction category. Many other types of construction are tabulated separately. Some of the numbers that jump out include:
- Specialty contractors topped the list, with 418 worker fatalities. The highest fatalities in specialty contractors came with those working on foundation, structure, and building exteriors (143).
- Heavy and civil engineering construction accidents claimed the lives of 155 workers.
There is some good news from the Bureau of Labor. Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined to 721 in 2011 from 774 in 2010. The seven percent decline was the fifth consecutive year of lower fatality counts. Since 2006, fatal construction injuries are down almost 42 percent.
While some construction site injuries are caused by worker error, sometimes a construction company or other party was neglectful in applying proper safety measures. If so, the worker may be entitled to more than workers’ compensation for their injuries.