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Construction accidents common cause of workers' injuries

Construction work is essential and important work, but it can also be dangerous. Connecticut residents may be interested in the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration's statistics that reflect the danger of construction accidents.

Of all of the worker fatalities reported in private industry in 2013, over 20 percent occurred in the construction industry. Falls were the most common cause of deaths on construction sites, with over 36 percent of reported deaths linked to falls. The next three most common causes of construction site deaths were being struck by an object, electrocution and being caught between objects or buildings. OSHA refers to these four categories as the "Fatal Four," and they accounted for over 58 percent of 2013's construction worker deaths.

Data from 2014 reflects the continued danger of falls in the construction industry, as OSHA reported that fall protection was 2014's leading standards violation. Another construction industry danger, requirements related to scaffolding, ranked as the third leading standards violation. If a construction site is unsafe and a construction worker suffers a scaffolding fall or other fall, he or she could receive serious injury.

OSHA has specific requirements in place designed to protect employees. Under OSHA's requirements, employers must provide safe working conditions without known danger and keep work area floors clean. Employers must provide training regarding job hazards, as well as provide free personal protective equipment. Additionally, OSHA requires employers to provide preventative measures to protect against injuries from falls.

If you or a loved one has suffered from injuries in a construction accident, even if your employer has met OSHA's safety requirements, workers' compensation benefits may be available. It is imperative to know about the benefits that are available so that an injured worker may seek the compensation he or she needs.

Source: osha.gov, "Commonly Used Statistics," accessed March 8, 2015

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