Construction & Workplace Accidents
One in five worker deaths in the United States in 2015 was in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The distressing numbers show that out of 4,379 worker fatalities in private industry in 2015, 937 or 21.4% were in construction, according to OSHA which cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These deaths in the private construction industry were the highest total since 975 in 2008.
At Kassel McVey our accident lawyers are committed to helping construction accident injury victims get the full compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured at a worksite contact Kassel McVey for a free and confidential case evaluation.
The Fatal Four
OSHA noted that the leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were 1) falls 2) a person being struck by an object 3) electrocution and 4) “caught-in/between.”
These so-called “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (64.2%) of construction worker deaths in 2015. OSHA states that eliminating the Fatal Four would save 602 workers’ lives in the USA every year.
The toll inflicted by the Fatal Four nationwide:
* Falls – 364 out of 937 total deaths in construction in calendar year 2015 (38.8%)
Related Case: Scaffolding Accidents
* Struck by Object – 90 (9.6%)
* Electrocutions – 81 (8.6%)
* Caught-in/between – 67 (7.2%)
OSHA explains that Caught-in/between includes construction workers killed when caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects, and struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material.
Construction accidents in South Carolina
Data on South Carolina’s construction worker deaths mostly correlate with the nationwide toll.
OSHA reported 25 fatal injuries in the state’s private construction industry in 2015. Transportation incidents accounted for nine of the fatalities: falls, slips and strips for seven, contact with objects or equipment for five, exposure to harmful substances or environment for three, and fires and explosions for one.
The state’s grim statistics emphasize the need for better workplace safety. It also supports the position that injured construction workers should be able to hold their employers legally liable for the injuries they sustain while on the job.
Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina
In South Carolina, workers’ compensation is usually the only way a worker can receive medical treatment and reimbursement for lost wages. This is because workers’ compensation is an exclusive, “no-fault” system where injured workers don’t have to prove their employers (or another party) were at fault in causing the accident.
Workers’ compensation laws ensure that employees injured on the job receive fixed monetary awards without having to litigate their claims against their employers. It’s usually seen as a substitute for a lawsuit against an employer.
South Carolina’s no-fault system also means that even employees whose own negligence caused their injuries are eligible for benefits. With few exceptions, all employees in South Carolina are covered by the state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Workers can also pursue a third-party construction injury lawsuit to compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, punitive damages and losses suffered by a spouse. Awards in third-party construction injury lawsuits are typically in addition to what a worker receives from workers’ compensation.
In most cases, construction accidents involve more than one company. That’s because a construction project also involves subcontractors, architects, property owners and other firms or individuals.
In those cases, a worker might be able to collect workers’ compensation payments and still pursue a construction accident lawsuit.
There are a range of construction accidents that can result in injuries to workers. Apart from the Fatal Four, the most common of these accidents include exposure to dangerous chemicals, tool malfunctions, inadequate warning of dangerous conditions, OSHA violations, and forklift injuries.
Contact Kassel McVey Today
These complexities mean it’s important for a worker injured in a construction accident to seek out legal help to ensure they are able to pursue all avenues of recovery for a construction site injury.
Getting all this done, however, is best accomplished with professional legal assistance such as that available at Kassel McVey. At Kassel McVey, we go all out to obtain for our injured clients and their families full damages for their medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
To find out how we can help you take action, call us today at (803) 256-4242 and put our experience to work for you.
Request A Free Case Evaluation
1330 Laurel Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 256-4242
Toll Free: (855) 256-4242
Fax: (803) 256-1952
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