Construction workers here in Ohio know that their jobs come with a certain amount of risk. If you are among them, you understand that just about anything at a construction site could cause you harm. However, some things cause more harm than others do.
Researchers identified four types of accidents at construction sites that result in the largest amount of fatalities. In fact, 63.7 percent of construction worker deaths in 2016 attributed to these types of incidents. That same year, 21 percent of workplace deaths involved construction accidents.
What do researchers call the "fatal four?"
Of all the accidents that occur at construction sites, the following four took the most lives in 2016:
- Approximately 38.7 percent, or 384 people, died in falls.
- Around 9.4 percent, or 93 people, died because an object struck them.
- Approximately 8.3 percent, or 82 people, died of electrocution.
- Around 7.3 percent, or 72 people, died when caught in or between something.
Not only do falls, struck-by, electrocutions and caught-in/between accidents take the most lives each year, but they also account for somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 percent of all the injuries construction workers suffer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has come a long way in protecting construction workers, but it doesn't seem to have the significant impacts the agency had hoped.
Part of the problem is compliance. Some employers fail to follow established regulations; so many, in fact, that (at least) falls made OSHA's top 10 list of citations every year since 2012. If you are lucky enough to work for an employer who takes your safety seriously, then you may have all of the appropriate safety equipment and know how to use it.
Accidents still happen
Even when your employer provides you with the appropriate safety gear and training, and you use it properly, accidents can still happen. If you suffer serious injuries in one of the fatal four and live to tell the tale, then you may require workers' compensation benefits in order to pay for your medical care and provide you with as much of your income as possible during your recovery.
While receiving such benefits is not a full-time solution to your problems, it could help keep you afloat until you can return to work, if at all. Depending on your situation, you may require other benefits as well.