How Many Construction Workers Die Every Day?

Despite all the improvements in work safety over the years, construction work remains a dangerous job, with about two construction workers dying in the U.S. every day on average.

One in five work-related deaths in the U.S. are related to construction projects, underscoring the risks involved in this line of work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics fatal work injuries report, in 2018, more than 1,000 construction workers were killed in the US, leading all industries in a work-related death.

Why is construction work so dangerous?

Construction workers frequently climb to high places, lift heavy objects, deal with dangerous machinery, and enter buildings that may not be completely stable. And all that might take place in a single day on the job. There are inherent risks to the job, and while most accidents in construction lead to minor injuries, there is still a substantial risk of being maimed or killed.

The most common causes of death experienced by construction workers include:

  • Electrocution by exposed power sources, through water, by an accidental power surge, or from a falling electrical line
  • Being hit with falling objects, usually in the process of demolition work, assembly, or repair
  • Suffering a fall from a significant height, be it from scaffolding during construction, cranes, towers, uneven surfaces, or collapsed buildings
  • Being crushed by heavy objects or construction machinery, such as an overturned construction vehicle
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as acids
  • Inhalation of toxic fumes in the course of a construction project

Light at the end of the tunnel: Construction is still safer each year than the previous year

On a more positive note, the good news is that being a construction worker is not nearly as dangerous as it once was.

For nearly half a century, the U.S. government has had an agency specifically dedicated to enforcing and investigating workplace safety. This has led to nationwide standards that employers are legally required to have in place, from providing hard hats to supervising certain activities that would have previously been performed solo.

If you have concerns that your worksite is not following good safety practices, it is your responsibility to inform the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) through their worker complaint page.

What do I do if my loved one was killed on a construction job?

If your loved one was killed on the job, you or their direct partner (or child) will likely be offered a settlement by their employer. Bear in mind that if you accept this settlement, you will need to sign legally binding documents in which you agree to not file a lawsuit against your loved one’s former employer or their parent company.

While these types of financial offers promise a quick and easy payment, usually in the form of a percentage of their monthly income paid out for a set number of years, this form of compensation generally falls short of what you could gain in a legal settlement or court order following a lawsuit.

Wrongful death payments won’t replace your loss, but it will make your life a lot easier

The death of a family member due to an accident is a tragedy for the family of the deceased, and when it is caused by the negligence of an employer, the survivors may be able to receive monetary compensation (Source: https://farmermorris.com/).

It is never easy to make a decision about whether or not to address wrongdoing through legal action in court. Lawsuits take time, sometimes years, and the decision to hire an attorney and bring suit means that you will not be receiving your loved one’s former employer’s offer right away. However, aside from the potential for much greater monetary compensation, there is another factor to consider.

If your loved one was killed due to any form of negligence or lack of safety precaution on the part of their supervisor or employer, then bringing a lawsuit serves a higher function than just the money. Legal action can also lead to the court ordering the employer or company to install greater safety measures that will protect other workers in the future and hopefully prevent these tragedies from occurring again.









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