North Carolina construction workers continue to face life threatening risks every time they show up for a shift. Fatal construction injuries are not at all uncommon, accounting for 20% of all private industry worker deaths in 2019 alone. There are also tens of thousands of nonfatal construction injuries every year. Some of the most common contributing factors to these injuries are sometimes preventable, too.
Falls and falling objects
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration — OSHA — there are four primary hazards that contribute to fatal construction injuries. Falls and falling objects are two of those factors, both of which can often be prevented. OSHA recommends employers adopt some of the following policies practices to prevents falls and falling objects:
- Maintain clean work areas
- Properly stack items
- Provide fall safety equipment
Electrocutions and caught-betweens
OSHA points to electrocutions as another contributing factor. Electrocutions can cause burns, but frequently also cause nerve damage and cardiac arrest. It is important for all workers to wear proper personal protective equipment — PPE — when working with electricity.
Caught in or between accidents are the last main contributor to fatal construction injuries. These types of accidents typically occur when a worker gets caught between two objects, such as between a vehicle and a wall. Collapsing machinery can also cause this type of accident.
Losing a loved one is never easy. North Caroline families who have lost a loved one to fatal construction injuries already understand just how difficult it can be to move on, especially when complicated finances make it difficult to fully focus on grieving. Temporary death benefits from the workers’ compensation system can make an invaluable difference in these families’ lives.