High workplace fatalities rates keep construction jobs atop the list of America’s most dangerous occupations. In the last years, almost one in five worker deaths were in construction. If an employer's failure to provide adequate safety procedures or protocols to follow or the negligent actions of another worker result in the death of an employee, the surviving family is entitled to file a claim for wrongful death. Work conditions can change rapidly on a construction site, and many things can go wrong, quickly putting a worker in harm’s way if he or she is not aware of a hazard. The four most deadly dangers causing injury at construction sites are the following:
- Being struck by an object. Even with proper protection, workers can suffer severe or life-ending injuries when hit by flying objects, falling objects, swinging objects, or even by equipment or objects at ground level.
- Slips, trips, and falls. The majority of construction accidents involve falls and hazards must be marked so that workers are aware of slippery conditions, obstacles, uneven or weakened platforms, but working at heights remains a severe occupational safety challenge.
- Electrocution. Construction sites often involve ungrounded wires or unfinished electrical systems, which cause a large number of fatal electrocutions each year. An employee may come in contact with an object that is drawing current or accidentally work on an electrical component that is not properly insulated.
- Caught-in accidents. These accidents occur when a worker occupies a space between two pieces of large building materials or a piece of large equipment and a wall or other structure. He or she may easily be crushed or suffocated under the weight of machinery or objects that are moved into one another.
If your loved one was killed on a construction site as a result of a workplace injury or was an innocent bystander fatally injured, you have the right to investigate what caused the accident to determine whether negligent actions caused the accident. If it your loved one’s death was, in fact, caused by negligence, you have the right to seek damages for the losses you’ve incurred, including the income that he or she has been providing for your family.
To determine how best to pursue a wrongful death claim due to a construction accident and to get more information about your rights, contact O'Brien & Zehnder Law Firm.