The Cape Cod Today reported that a construction worker survived a 30-foot fall from scaffolding while working at Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee. According to reports, the worker had suffered head and back injuries, but his condition was unknown. The man fell while working at the pool area of the club, and was later transported to a MedFlight helicopter and flown to a hospital in the Boston area. Accidents at construction sites can cause serious, life threatening injuries and sometimes even death. If you or someone you know have been injured in a construction site accident, it is important to contact a local Cape Cod personal injury attorney to help you recover for any resulting economic loss and pain and suffering.
Due to the nature of the profession, construction industry safety is a big concern. In 2011, an estimated nine million workers in building, heavy, and special trades construction were at risk for fatal and non-fatal injuries. In fact, the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), reported that in 2011, there were 4,114 worker fatalities in private industry. Of that number, 721 deaths or 17.5% were in the construction field. This comprehensive report also states that the leading causes of worker fatalities on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, being struck by an object, and then “caught-in/between.”
These causes — known in the construction industry as the “Fatal Four” — were responsible for nearly three out of five, or 57%, of construction worker deaths that year. The percentage breakdown for each one is as follows: falls accounted for 251 total deaths or 35%; electrocutions – 67 deaths or 9%; struck by an object – 73 deaths or 10%; and caught-in/between – 19 deaths or 3%. OSHA indicates that if the construction industry could eliminate the fatal four, 410 workers’ lives would be saved in the United States every year. Further, OSHA lists the most frequently cited violations as involving items such as scaffolding, fall protection, hazard communication, respiratory protection, control of hazardous energy, electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, powered industrial trucks, ladders, electrical systems design and machine guarding.
For some good news on non-fatal injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s annual survey of occupational injuries and illnesses, the incidence rate of injuries and illnesses in the construction private industry sector decreased from four cases per 100 full-time workers in 2010, to 3.9 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2011.
Overall these are troubling statistics. The Cape Cod man who was injured in the fall from scaffolding at the local country club may be able to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages under workers’ compensation coverage. If his injuries were caused by defective equipment, subcontractor, general contractor or employer negligence, he may be entitled to file a claim against one or more of these third parties. In order to properly evaluate whether you have a viable negligence claim and for how much, it is necessary to contact a local injury attorney who is well versed in the laws and procedures concerning construction site accidents.