The construction industry is one of the most dangerous fields to work in because it accounts for nearly 21 percent of all occupational fatalities annually. Every year, approximately 1,000 individuals are fatally injured while employed and working in construction, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Mississippi, 90 people died from occupational injuries in 2017 and 13 of them worked in construction. Deaths tolls for this industry are on the rise. This happens when employers and job site owners neglect state and federal safety laws in order to save money or time.
If you work in construction, it’s crucial to understand what types of accidents are most common. This knowledge could help you avoid an accident and improve safety measure for all employees.
Construction Accidents in Different Industries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks the fatal occupational injuries in construction for Mississippi down by industry, including construction of buildings, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors.
Building construction is dangerous because of the scaffolding involved. Scaffolding are temporary structures that allow workers to reach heights with better stability than a ladder. Whether a building is being constructed or repaired, the majority of construction workers will have to use scaffolding at some point. When safety procedures are inadequate or there’s a lack of protective equipment, accidents are likely to happen.
Heavy and civil engineering construction refers to engineering projects like highways and dams. When workers are repairing or building a road, for example, they could be put in danger by reckless drivers who neglect to respect the speed limit in construction zones. Employees in this industry are also likely to use heavy machinery, which can be dangerous if operated incorrectly.
A specialty trade contractor is someone who performs a specific activity, like plumbing, painting, electrical work, pouring concrete, etc. Because the work is specialized and requires specific knowledge, an inexperienced employee could get hurt if the job is done wrong.
Events Resulting in Occupational Injuries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also identifies patterns among the number of construction employees who are injured in accidents. Identifying these patterns can help employers implement better safety measures. It’s also important for employees to be aware of the dangers because then they’ll know what hazards to look for.
Transportation accidents accounted for the highest number of occupational fatalities in Mississippi, at 61 percent. The events involved the following: aircraft crashes due to low-altitude entanglement, other in-flight crashes, pedestrian vehicular incidences, water vehicles incidences, roadway collisions with another vehicle, roadways collisions with an object other than a vehicle, vehicles struck by an object or animal on the side of the roadway, and noncollision- related roadway events. The number of events rose from 34 in 2016 to 55 in 2017.
Violence by Persons or Animals
While instances of violence did decrease from 2016 to 2017, the events still accounted for 11 percent of fatal occupational injuries. The events included intentional injuries by a person, including homicides and shootings, and suicide. The intentionally inflicted injuries by other parties could have been other employees or outsiders. Supervisors of construction and extraction workers, first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, and construction trade workers were most at risk.
Falls, Slips, Trips
The majority of falls, slips, and trips that result in injury happen when a worker falls to a lower level. Whether scaffolding is incorrectly put up or a building’s floor caves in, falling any distance can seriously hurt a person. Broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord damage is possible and can be fatal.
Exposure to Harmful Substances or Environments
When a worker experiences exposure to a harmful substance like a toxic chemical, their health is immediately put at risk. Proper safety equipment and ventilation is necessary to reduce the risks of an accident. Construction workers may also find themselves in a dangerous environment if they are exposed to electricity. Depending on the voltage of the shock, death could happen.
Unfortunately, the risks above are inherent to the construction industry. Laborers and their supervisors need to follow state and federal safety regulations to minimize and eliminate instances of accidents. If a construction site owner fails to live up to their duty, they may be liable for any harm that comes to their employees. Our lawyers have extensive experience with construction accident litigation, and we’re prepared to guide you through the legal process. To get started, we’ll provide you will a free consultation.