Workers’ Compensation Attorney San Diego, CA

Fatal Construction Accidents Common at Smaller Companies: An Attorney Explains

San Diego workers' compensation attorneyConstruction sites can be dangerous places to work. What some people might not realize is fatal construction accidents occur more often at sites where smaller construction companies work, according to a recent in-depth study. That’s why it’s important for construction workers and their families to know the risks and know what to do if they or a loved one sustains a serious or fatal injury due to a construction accident.

Construction accident statistics

The Center for Construction and Research Training (formerly known as the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights or CPWR) conducted the study comparing fatal construction accidents among construction companies of different sizes.

The findings were startling for companies with 19 or fewer employees, which account for 91 percent of all construction businesses and 36.9 percent of all construction employees.

According to the study, based on 2016 construction accident fatality statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • 67.2 percent of construction fatalities occurred among companies with 1 - 19 employees.
  • 18.8 percent of construction fatalities occurred among companies with 20 - 99 employees.
  • 14 percent of construction fatalities occurred among companies with 100 or more employees.

Most common fatal construction accidents

Fatal construction accidents can cover a wide range, but four specific kinds of construction accidents often prove fatal. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, describes these four common construction accidents as the “fatal four.”

Smaller construction businesses had the most fatalities among the fatal four causes of construction accidents between 2011 - 2016 nationwide.

  • Falls from a height – 61.5 percent of fatalities involved companies with 1 - 10 employees
  • Struck by an object – 32.8 percent of fatalities involved companies with 1 - 10 employees
  • Electrocution – 55.6 percent of fatalities involved companies with 1 - 10 employees
  • Caught in or between objects – 44.9 percent of fatalities involved companies with 1 - 10 employees

Most dangerous construction industries

Similar statistics could be found among specific types of construction work. Based on construction accidents between 2011 - 2016, the five most dangerous types of construction work for businesses with 10 or fewer employees were:

  • Residential building work – 77.6 percent of fatalities involved companies with 10 or fewer workers.
  • Siding contractors – 75.7 percent of fatalities involved companies with 10 or fewer workers.
  • Framing contractors – 75 percent of fatalities involved companies with 10 or fewer workers.
  • Painting and wall covering workers – 72.9 percent of fatalities involved companies with 10 or fewer workers.
  • Roofing contractors – 70.7 percent of fatalities involved companies with 10 or fewer workers.

What to do if a loved one dies in a construction accident

What should you do if a loved one dies in a construction accident? San Diego workplace injury attorney Robert A. McLaughlin of the Law Office of Robert A. McLaughlin recommends taking the following steps:

  • Make sure your loved one’s fatal construction accident is being investigated by OSHA.
  • Ask OSHA or your loved one’s employer for a copy of the accident report.

Contact our law firm as soon as possible. We can help you every step of the way – from filling out forms to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, if necessary, on your loved one’s behalf.

Don’t assume that your loved one’s employer has your family’s best interests at heart. Often, there’s a lot of money at stake in such cases. Even if the employer seems cooperative, the employer’s insurance company may be doing everything it can behind the scenes to reduce or deny your fatal construction accident claim. Learn more about your legal rights. Schedule your free case review today.

Categories: Posts