Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in Iowa and across the United States. In 2016, Iowa had a total of 76 fatal occupational injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And approximately 13 of those deaths occurred in the private construction sector.
If you’re a construction worker, it’s important that you understand the primary factors involved in construction accidents. One leading factor that has many construction leaders concerned is lack of training and experience.
What’s driving fatal construction accidents?
A recent quarterly survey by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce polled more than 2,700 construction managers in the Commercial Construction Index (for the third quarter of 2018). Roughly 58 percent of them reported that inadequate training and skill is making construction sites unsafe. Additionally, 62 percent of respondents believed that this would be a growing problem within the next three years.
When asked about other factors that pose safety risks on construction sites:
- 49 percent of respondents expressed concern about shorter construction schedules.
- 71 percent reported being moderately concerned about the opioid use on the job, with 39 percent being highly concerned.
- 58 percent reported being moderately concerned about alcohol use on the job.
- 54 percent reported general concern about marijuana use on the job.
The Fatal Four
Now that we understand the factors that can result in fatal construction accidents, what about the types of accidents that can occur? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified four types of construction accidents, also known as the “Fatal Four.” These include:
- Falls: Out of the 991 construction deaths across the US in 2016, approximately 384 of them (38.7%) were attributed to falls.
- Struck by object incidents: 93 construction deaths (9.4%) were attributed to workers being struck by construction materials, equipment, and debris.
- Electrocutions: 82 construction deaths (8.3%) were attributed to electrocution caused by exposed wires.
- Caught in/between accidents: 72 construction deaths (7.3%) were attributed to workers being caught in or between equipment, structures, or heavy objects.
Many construction workers survive these types of accidents, but end up sustaining severe injuries that can leave them out of work for months. These injuries often include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Organ damage
- Nerve damage
If you were injured on the job, you should always carefully consider your workers’ compensation claim and discuss your questions and concerns with an experienced construction accident lawyer. Attorney Paul McAndrew understands how the workers’ compensation system works in Iowa. He knows all the legal implications and the loopholes insurance companies often try to take advantage of to keep their costs down. Don’t take a chance with your health and financial well-being.
Contact us today to discuss your legal options.