The construction industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the construction industry has more than 670,000 employers with over 7 million employees creating roughly $1.3 trillion worth of structures every year.
The sheer size of the industry, coupled with the labor-intensive nature of the job, means that injuries are all too common. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 1,000 construction workers are killed in work-related events every year and 1 in every 50 workers is forced to miss work or adhere to a job restriction as a result of a work-related injury.
Shockingly, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries found that over a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 75% likelihood of experiencing a disabling injury and a 1 in 200 chance of being fatally injured on the job.
Specific injuries in the construction industry run the gamut from minor to catastrophic, and include:
OSHA has been responsible for the enforcement of workplace safety and health standards in the US since its establishment in 1970. OSHA recommends the following tips to help prevent being injured or killed by 1 of the fatal 4 construction hazards.
Prevent injuries from falls by:
Prevent injuries from falling objects by:
Prevent getting caught in or between equipment by:
Prevent electrocutions by:
If you’re injured in a work-related construction accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your physical injuries and your mental suffering. Options include:
Filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides benefits to employees injured in the course of employment. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance regardless of how many workers they employ and regardless of whether those workers are part-time or full-time. There are two types of benefits that an employee can recover: necessary medical expenses and wage loss benefits.
Filing a third-party lawsuit. The trade-off for receiving workers’ compensation benefits is that you can’t sue your employer or co-worker for your work-related injury. However, if you’re injured by a third party (someone other than your employer or co-worker), you can file a workers’ compensation claim and file a separate third-party lawsuit against the person or entity that caused your injury. To win a third-party lawsuit, you generally have to prove that the third party was negligent.
Filing a wrongful death claim. If an employee dies while working, the employee’s family can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased.
Whether you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, there are specific deadlines you must meet. If you fail to meet these deadlines, your case may be thrown out and you will recover nothing. This is known as the “statute of limitations” and can vary by state.
To learn more about the specific laws that apply to your case, visit our State Personal Injury Guides page. We also recommend using our free online directory to locate an experienced attorney to help with your claim or lawsuit so that you can focus on getting healthy.