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Cok Kinzler PLLP

Safety violations result in many construction fatalities

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable in a dangerous job like the construction industry. However, there are other times when the negligence of a construction company, property owner, manager or fellow worker contributes to a serious injury or death that could have been prevented. There are many ways to be injured on a construction site in Montana and elsewhere across the country, states EHS Today, but four types stand out as the most common ways to suffer a fatal workplace accident.

These accident types are known in the construction industry as the “fatal four,” and contributed to 57 percent of all U.S. fatalities on construction sites in 2012. The fatal four include falling, being caught in between objects, electrocution and being struck by objects or machinery. It is estimated that if all of these fatal four accidents were eliminated, 435 construction workers would be saved each year in America.

Many of these fatal four accidents occur as the result of a company or person’s failure to obey workplace safety standards, according to Electrical Construction & Maintenance. Safety violations are preventable incidents that can result in wrongful death. The top three construction industry safety violations include:

  • Scaffolding – Falls are common on scaffolding structures when they are not erected on a stable surface. Workers might also neglect to completely plank the platform area, resulting in trips and falls.
  • Electrical equipment – Often, construction companies fail to properly de-energize or ground electrical equipment and wiring. Workers may also be forced to use power tools with damaged cords and be electrocuted.
  • Trenches – Excavations should be properly shored and braced to prevent the ground around them from collapsing onto workers inside the trenches. They should also contain quick escape routes. Many construction companies don’t enforce trench safety measures, resulting in workers being suffocated or crushed.

The untimely loss of a loved one due to a construction accident is devastating. In cases where negligence was determined to be a factor, the victims’ surviving family may have grounds to pursue compensation.

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