One of the pillars of the economy in New York is the ongoing construction of roads, homes and buildings. Those who work in the construction industry face many dangers, including the threat of on-the-job injuries. Sometimes these injuries lead to fatalities that leave the victim’s loved ones not only with emotional losses but also financial damages in the form of medical expenses incurred prior to death, lost wages and lost companionship.
It is important to understand the basics of fatal construction injuries. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified what it calls the “fatal four” most common causes of fatalities in the construction industry. In calendar year 2018 just over 21% of private workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry and of those deaths, over half fell under the umbrella of the “fatal four.”
What are the “fatal four?”
One cause of fatal construction accidents is falling. In calendar year 2018, 33.5% of construction fatalities were due to falls.
Another type of accident that falls under the fatal four include being struck by an object. This constituted 11.1% of construction fatalities in calendar year 2018.
A third type of accident that falls under the fatal four includes being electrocuted. This constitutes 8.5% of construction site fatalities in calendar year 2018.
Finally, the fourth type of accident that falls under the fatal four includes being caught-in/between equipment or objects. This type of accident constituted 5.5% of construction site fatalities in calendar year 2018.
What are my legal options following a fatal construction site accident?
The fatal four should be on the mind of any construction worker. Ultimately, no matter how careful a worker is, it is possible that their workplace conditions could be unsafe, leading to a fatal accident. Families of construction workers who lose their lives on the job may want to seek legal advice to determine if they have a claim for death benefits under New York’s workers’ compensation system or whether it is possible to file a wrongful death claim. Personal injury attorneys may be a useful resource to those who have questions about their legal options following a fatal construction site accident.