Summer and commercial construction go hand in hand. With the uptick in construction often comes an increase in construction-related injuries. To help prevent those injuries, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released an updated version of its Jobsite Safety Handbook, a guide written to help builders understand and comply with the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction regulations. OSHA created these regulations to protect construction workers from some of the most common on-the-job injuries, many of which may lead to workers’ compensation claims.
Injuries Caused By OSHA’s ‘Fatal Four’ In the Construction Industry
To help construction sites remain safe, NAHB’s Jobsite Safety Handbook discusses many of the hazards surrounding OSHA’s “Fatal Four,” a list of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries in the construction industry. The Fatal Four includes:
- Falls - Falls accounted for 33.5% of all construction industry deaths in 2018.
- Struck-By Incidents (Any time a worker is forcibly hit by an object or piece of equipment) - Struck-by incidents accounted for 11.1% of all construction deaths in 2018.
- Electrocutions - Electrocutions accounted for 8.5% of all construction deaths in 2018.
- Caught-In/Between Incidents (Any time a worker is at risk of being caught or crushed between multiple objects) - Caught-in/between incidents accounted for 5.5% of all construction deaths in 2018.
The Fatal Four are also the leading causes of non-fatal injuries in the construction industry today. Here are some of the most common injuries workers experience after encountering each of these incidents:
- Falls. Common causes of falls include collapsed scaffolding, absence of guardrails, and unstable walkways. Falls from any sort of height can result in serious injuries, and many workers suffer brain trauma, broken bones, and even spinal cord damage.
- Struck-By Incidents. If a construction worker is hit by a falling hammer or backed into by a truck, both of these scenarios would qualify as a “struck-by” incident. Although some struck-by incidents result in little more than nicks or bruises, workers may suffer serious bodily harm, including brain trauma or crushed bones and limbs.
- Electrocutions. Electrocutions are often caused by damaged equipment, faulty writing, electric arcs, and improper cord usage during construction projects. In non-fatal electrocution injuries, workers may suffer burns, cardiac arrest, or muscle and nerve damage.
- Caught-In/Between Incidents. Common caught-in/between incidents include machinery accidents, cave-ins, and contact with construction vehicles. These incidents may lead to broken bones, lacerations, suffocation, and other serious injuries.
Employers in the construction industry have a responsibility to prevent these incidents. Sadly, many of these companies ignore regulations and expose their workers to hazardous conditions that can result in serious injuries—some of which may prevent workers from ever returning to their normal jobs. When a construction worker suffers an injury at work, they may qualify for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation for Construction Injuries
If you’ve been hurt in a construction-related accident, contact us. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Our team will help you explore your options and receive the best outcome possible.