While steps have been taken through the years to make workplaces safer, injuries and fatalities still occur. In fact, OSHA estimates there are still approximately 12 work-caused fatalities each day in the U.S.
Even though there are many causes of workplace fatalities, some accidents are more common than others. These include:
Most workplace fatalities are caused by falls. This includes falling due to unprotected holes or sides, unsafe working or walking surfaces and workers falling from a height when working from skyscrapers, scaffolding, roofs and ladders. Many fall-related fatalities occur because of the lack of fall protection or improper use of fall protection.
2. “Struck-by” injuries
Objects falling from a height can cause severe injuries and fatalities if they hit a worker below. Other common “struck-by” injuries include accidents involving large equipment and vehicles. For example, a worker on a factory floor could be hit by a forklift.
Electrocution is a serious risk on construction sites. That’s because there’s exposed wiring, exposed outlets, wet conditions and other electrical-related hazards present. Workers may also come in contact with energized circuit parts in equipment panels, improperly maintained extension cords, power lines or experience injuries due to lightning strikes.
4. “Caught-between” or “caught-in” accidents
Workers are often fatally injured if they are caught between or in machines, tools or devices being used. This accident also includes excavation or trench collapses and workers caught between rotating or moving equipment.
Your rights after a work accident or fatality
If a worker is injured on the job, they have the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits. If a worker is killed, their family has the right to recover compensation. Knowing your legal rights is essential to ensure that you can get the benefits of damages you are entitled to after a workplace accident.