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Top 10 Areas Where Construction Accidents Happen

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), conditions are better for employees in the U.S. than in many other countries. The major factor here is the willingness of all parties in the workplace to comply with laws and regulations that affect safety. Thanks to countless people who made OSHA claims or brought suit for negligence in the workplace, employers and third parties are more concerned about worker safety now than ever before.

OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations during 2011 demonstrate the role played by third parties in construction accidents. Third parties are outside companies and people who are not the property owners or construction employers, but who contribute to the construction process. Many construction sites depend on third parties to provide design, materials and workers around these 10 categories:

  • Scaffolding
  • Fall protection
  • Hazard communication
  • Respiratory protection
  • Control of hazardous energy
  • Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Ladders
  • Electrical systems design
  • Machine guarding

In the 40 years since OSHA’s inception, workplace-related injury and illness declined from nearly 11 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to fewer than four per 100 in 2010.

However, workplace accidents due to safety violations are still happening. The oversight and consequence of laws and regulations are still important. Construction injuries are the largest segment of workplace fatalities. At 17.5 percent, they comprise nearly one-fifth of all fatalities.

The four most common causes of construction deaths – what OSHA calls “Construction's "Fatal Four" account for about 410 deaths in the U.S. each year. These four causes of worker death were responsible for 57 percent of construction deaths in 2011:

  • Falls
  • Electrocution
  • Struck by object
  • Caught-in/between

Clearly, for the sake of your own livelihood and to make sure safety standards and compliance keep improving, it’s important to get excellent legal representation when you have a construction accident that involves a third party. For a worker down the road, it could make all the difference.

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