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Understanding the major causes of construction accidents

Construction sites often have heavy machinery and other dangers, and while construction workers and employers are aware of the common risks and hazards in this industry, incidents occur at construction sites that compromise the safety of those in the work environment. This could result in a construction accident, injuring and even killing workers at the site.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 4,679 workers were killed on the job during the fiscal year of 2014. This amounts to roughly 90 workers killed each week, or just over 13 deaths every day. Out of those fatal accidents, 4,251 work fatalities occurred in private industries in 2014. Of those 874 20.5 percent were in construction. This amounts to one in every five worker deaths occurring on a construction site.

There are some common causes for construction site deaths, including falls, electrocutions, being struck by objects and being caught in or between objects. The most common cause is due to falls, which was the cause of 349 out of the 874 deaths in construction in 2014. When considering the most cited violation by OSHA, this might help explain why falls are the most common cause of fatal construction accidents.

According to the data collected by the OSHA in the fiscal year of 2015, fall protection was the number one cited standard violation. This means that adequate or proper fall protection was not provided or used at a construction site. The second most frequently cited OSHA standard violation was hazard communication. This means that employers failed to communicate the hazards in the work environment to the employees.

The failure to provide proper safety equipment and training could easily be the cause of a serious or fatal construction accident. Following such an incident, workers and their loved ones should understand the recourses available to them. Workers' compensation benefits could be available to cover medical expenses and lost wages caused by the incident.

Source:, "Commonly Used Statistics," accessed Feb. 22, 2016

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