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What Is the Biggest Killer in the Construction Industry?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Falls are the most common fatal injury in the construction industry. Most, if not all, of these accidents are preventable. Construction is an inherently dangerous way to make a living, but most deaths in this industry can be avoided with appropriate planning, training, and equipment. 

A California construction accident attorney can help you pursue money damages if you got severely injured or a close relative died because of a fall accident. Let’s dig deeper into the issue of falls being the biggest killer in the construction industry. 

Fatal Fall Injury Statistics

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 1008 construction workers lost their lives on the job in 2020. Of these, 351 deaths were the results of fatal falls to a lower level. Many of the accidents involved falls from scaffolds, roofs, and ladders. Also, people fell through holes and skylights at the job site.

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign

OSHA urges employers to take measures that can prevent these deaths. When they have employees working from heights, construction companies need to exercise appropriate planning of the project with safety in mind. 

The project bid should include the cost of all safety equipment needed to ensure that workers will be able to perform their tasks without falling from a height. Employers should make sure that appropriate fall protection equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), are ready and available at the site whenever tasks involve fall hazards. 

Recognizing and Preparing for Fall Hazards

Any task that involves a worker being 6 feet or higher above the lower levels of the project creates a risk for serious injury or death in the event of a fall accident. Employers should have the appropriate equipment on site for workers to perform their jobs safely. One task might require a ladder, while another might require scaffolding.

Also, safety gear should be present and used consistently. Workers should not have to share fall arrest gear. Each worker who will be performing tasks at a height needs their own harness that can get attached to the anchor. Personal fall arrest systems need regular inspections and proper fittings. All employees at the job site should be well trained on how to assemble, set up, and use their safety equipment. 

Compensation for Fall Accidents

The type of compensation that could be available for a person injured in a fall accident will depend on the situation. Worker’s Compensation will provide benefits in some cases. These benefits could include medical treatment, travel reimbursement, and cash benefits to partially replace lost income, vocational training, and death benefits.

In other circumstances, the injured person could go after money damages in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The plaintiff could seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and other losses. 

In a wrongful death action, the estate could seek to recover the cost of the final medical expenses, funeral, and burial costs. Close relatives might be able to go after compensation for other losses like the loss of income to the family, loss of services the deceased person provided to the household, and loss of companionship, guidance, and advice. You want to talk to a California personal injury attorney right away about your legal options after a construction accident. Some actions must be taken within a matter of days to qualify for benefits. For help with your case contact our office today, we offer a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.