Construction is an important part of the Alabama economy, but it also one of the most dangerous occupations. In 2018, there were 23 fatalities in the construction industry in our state and 24 nonfatal injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In the U.S., every day there are at least 14 deaths on-the-job and more than 20 percent are among workers in the construction industry. Next to transportation and mining, the construction industry is one of the top three professions that pose a safety hazard for workers.
OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a division of the federal government which oversees safety on construction sites, in the workplace, and in manufacturing plants.
OSHA has dubbed the “Fatal Four” injuries responsible for more than half of construction worker deaths nationwide in 2018.
The Fatal Four
If you or a loved one works in construction, understand that these are the inherent workplace injury dangers.
- Being struck by an object – A construction
site is in constant motion with many people and equipment coming and going. It is
not surprising then that there are loose objects falling and debris on the site
as well as scaffolding, ladders, and cranes that are part of the necessary equipment
to get the job done. These are not
stationary tools of the trade, so moving, shifting, or falling objects can cause
- Electrocution –
Accidents involving electricity accounted for about 8% of all construction
accident deaths, according to OSHA. Loose wiring in a building can easily come
in contact with a worker and any nearby power lines may not be properly
- Slip and Fall – During
the construction process there are often unsecured platforms of different
elevations that workers must move among. If steps and railings are not secured,
if an area is dark and not marked, if there are different platform levels, or
no guardrails, a construction worker can easily be injured on-the-job. Construction
slip and fall accidents accounted for nearly 40% of construction worker deaths
in 2018, according to OSHA.
- Being Stuck Between Objects and Machinery – With heavy machinery and some of it not properly secured, it is not uncommon for a worker to be caught between big equipment and a structure that has collapsed. This can result in a body being squeezed, crushed, or compressed between parts of an object. Strangulation can result if someone is caught in running machinery and equipment.
Workers’ compensation is the insurance program that provides compensation when you are hurt on-the-job. Any Alabama business with five or more employees is required by law to have workers’ compensation coverage.
In return for providing compensation to workers, the injured employees agrees not to sue the employer.
You are entitled to file a claim
for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured in a workplace accident, but
do not expect to receive your normal weekly or bi-weekly check. Workers’
compensation will only pay up to two-thirds of your normal wages.
A Third Party
What if a third party contributed to your accident and injuries?
Our lawyers may be able to help you file an additional personal injury claim against that at-fault third party which will allow you to receive all of the compensation you deserve for an accident that was not your fault.
An example of a third party involvement in your injury might include a truck that strikes your vehicle while you are on-the-job, defective heavy machinery or equipment is delivered to your place of employment, a subcontractor may cause you to be injured, or the owner of the property may not have it in a safe condition for workers on-the-job.
Burns, Cunningham and Mackey understands the pain and stress that a construction accident can bring. We understand that you will need rehabilitation while you continue to pay the bills during this very stressful time.
Our lawyers will seek all of the compensation you are eligible for, because we understand all of your options including pursuing a third party involved.
Let us take the burden off of you during this difficult time. Call us our Mobile office at 800-574-4332 for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.