Construction sites are by their nature hazardous locations. This is one reason why you often see danger signs posted and you typically see workers wearing hard-hats and other safety gear. Construction sites are hazardous to employees and to those who are simply walking past a site as well. Here are how some of these injuries occur:
Common Construction Accidents
OSHA has very strict construction site safety requirements but some accidents occur at construction sites regularly. Injuries can range from relatively minor injuries to serious injuries and even death. Some types of employee accidents include:
Malfunctioning tools – sometimes tools have manufacturing defects or are being operated by an unskilled operator. The results can be bruising, puncture wounds or in serious cases, death.
Slip and fall – construction sites are a maze of tools, supplies and people. Hazards must be properly flagged to allow workers to avoid accidents whenever possible. In addition, it is possible
that oil, paint or other wet substances can be spilled and not cleaned up immediately which can cause serious injuries.
Injuries to Pedestrians
You may think that only those working at a construction site are at risk for injury. However, this is seldom the case as most construction sites are in locations where a pedestrian or a car operator may have to pass. While construction sites are typically posted as “pass at your own risk” this is not enough to excuse any accidents that occur. Pedestrian and auto drivers may be at risk from:
Falling debris – most construction sites offer some passage to pedestrians via a walkway. These walkways are not free from hazards in spite of being surrounded by some form of barrier. These areas may still be dangerous since debris falling from upper levels of the construction site and injure pedestrians or fall on a passing vehicle causing an accident.
Barrier hazards – barriers to prevent pedestrians from passing an area may mean a pedestrian needs to walk in the street which could result in being struck by a car. In roadways, a poorly placed barrier can cause serious car accidents.
Construction Accident Statistics
According to the United States Department of Labor, over 25% of fatalities that occurred on the job in 2016 were in the construction industry. Below are a few statistics which show the types of construction accidents and fatalities that were recorded in both Kentucky and in the nation. In hopes of encouraging workplace safety, we hope this information encourages everyone – especially employers – to take the necessary caution to prevent unnecessary construction accidents from happening.
Nine fatalities were the result of exposure to harmful substances or environments.
Six fatalities were the result of contact with objects and equipment.
The fatal injury rate in 2016 for construction jobs was 18.5 for every 100,000 full-time workers.
2015 Kentucky Construction Accident Statistics
The KOSHS reports that there were 28 construction fatalities in Kentucky in 2015.
Of those fatalities, five were caused by transportation incidents.
Eight fatalities resulted from falls, slips and trips.
Seven fatalities were the result of exposure to harmful substances or environments.
Four fatalities were the result of contact with objects and equipment.
The fatal injury rate in Kentucky in 2012 was 16.5 out of every 100,000 construction workers.
2014 Kentucky Construction Accident Statistics
According to the BLS, there were 20 fatalities in the construction industry in 2014.
Of those fatalities, nine were the result of transportation incidents.
Five fatalities were the result of contact with objects and equipment.
The 2014 fatal injury rate in Kentucky for construction work was 8.7 for every 100,000 workers.
2016 National Construction Accident Statistics
There were 1,034 fatalities in the U.S. in the construction industry.
Of those deaths, over 50% were caused by what the BLS terms the “Fatal Four” – falls, struck by object, electrocution and caught-in/between accidents.
Falls accounted for 302 of the total deaths in 2016, or 36.5%.
Struck by object accidents accounted for 100 of the total deaths, or 11%.
Electrocutions were responsible for 82 deaths, or 9%.
Caught-in/between accidents accounted for 21 deaths, or 2.5%.
OSHA’s Top 10 Standards Violations
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration lists the top ten standards violations for the year. Unsurprisingly, these violations tend to overlap areas construction’s Fatal Four. These fatal four, as stated by OSHA, are areas where the construction industry can improve and save hundreds of lives a year in the industry. The top ten violations are:
Construction site accidents in Kentucky tend to increase any time there is a construction boom. If you were injured either as a worker or someone trying to pass a construction site on foot or in a vehicle, you should contact Meinhart Smith & Manning PLLC for a free consultation to evaluate your specific case.