Safety violations contribute to many construction site accidents

The construction industry ranks as one of America’s most dangerous workforces. There are many ways a construction worker may be injured on the job.

Every day in Ohio, thousands of construction workers risk their lives on projects that make everyone else's lives easier and more convenient. The construction industry is a dangerous field, regardless of whether safety standards are observed. There are many ways that even the most careful worker may be injured on the job.

How dangerous is the construction industry, exactly? According to Bloomberg, there are an estimated 18.76 construction-related deaths per 100,000 workers in America. Many different types of construction trades rank within the top 20 most hazardous jobs in the country. These include highway workers, building constructors, roofers and electrical workers.

Top four fatal construction accident factors

While there are many ways a construction worker may sustain a workplace accident, four types in particular are especially deadly, states EHS Today. These accident types are called the "fatal four" among those in the construction industry. They include the following:

• Falls, accounting for 36 percent of all fatal construction accidents

• Getting caught between objects or machinery

• Being electrocuted by cables, wiring or faulty power tools

• Being struck by objects or debris

Construction experts estimate that 435 deaths would be prevented each year if the "fatal four" were eliminated.

Workplace violations are common

Many construction accidents occur through no fault of the victim or others. However, safety standards are frequently ignored on construction sites by either employers or workers, states Electrical Construction & Maintenance. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration randomly inspects about 10,000 construction sites across the country every year, and reports that it is rare to find a jobsite with no safety violations. Scaffolding violations are the most common, and result in falls if the structures are not constructed on stable ground or planked to provide a safe walking surface. Electrical violations occur when wires or cables are not grounded or de-energized. Trench violations are also common, and often result in cave-ins that suffocate or crush workers if the excavations are not properly shored or braced.

A recent accident highlighted the dangers of ignoring safety measures in trenching work. The Times Gazette reported that in Hillsboro, a 26-year-old man was nearly buried during a trench collapse at a storm sewer replacement project. He was not breathing when emergency workers freed him, but they were soon able to get a pulse. Unfortunately, he died two days later in the hospital.

If you are injured in a construction accident, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. An attorney with knowledge in Ohio workers' compensation law may be able to help you begin the claims process.