Accident risks on construction job sites

Of all business and job sectors, construction has one of the highest rates of workplace accidents. Augusta residents who work in construction are well aware of this and need to be ever conscious about safety. Sometimes, despite the proper actions of individual workers, other factors can lead to serious construction site accidents, causing injury or even wrongful death.

How safe are Georgia construction workers?

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on workplace fatalities across all industries and occupations. Information from 2012 for the state of Georgia reports the following:

  • The construction industry recorded 50 percent of all deaths in what the BLS classifies as goods producing industries. These include mining, natural resources, agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing, manufacturing and construction.
  • Out of deaths in the natural resource, construction and maintenance occupations, 59 percent involved people working in construction jobs.
  • Nearly 17 percent of all statewide deaths resulting from on-the-job accidents occurred in the construction industry.

    Accidents involving transportation or slips, trips and falls accounted for the vast majority of the above noted deaths. These are among what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls the fatal four, the most common causes of death to construction workers.

    How serious is the problem nationally?

    News headlines show that construction workers face equally severe risks across the country. A recent New York Times article reported on the death of a 27-year old man when a large concrete slab fell from above and landed on him at the site of a parking lot to hotel conversion project. Work on the project has been halted at this time pending investigation.

    In Iowa, the Sioux City Journal told of a man who died before life flight help could arrive after becoming trapped beneath some equipment on a bridge construction site.

    Moving south to Texas, another construction worker perished due to equipment entrapment while filling an excavator according to Click2Houston.com

    On the west coast, another bridge project was the site of two fatalities from one accident when workers suspended 80 feet above the ground by a crane fell to their deaths. The story was covered by the Daily Democrat.

    An electrocution claimed the life of a man in Seattle. KIROTV.com provided information about the construction project on the grounds of a hospital where the accident occurred.

    What can workers and families do?

    When accidents are not able to be prevented or avoided, it is important for victims or their survivors to know that they have rights. Prompt action matters and that includes speaking with an attorney who is well versed in these situations.