In 1970, Congress established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce work-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths in America. In the last 49 years, workplace fatalities have declined by over 40%. However, there is one industry that OSHA can’t seem to fix: the construction industry.
Construction sites are inherently dangerous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 937 construction worker fatalities reported in 2015 – a number that surpasses any other American industry, including manufacturing. As Tom Musick, a reporter for Safety & Health Magazine, explains, “Think about it in these terms: Every week in 2015, 18 construction workers went to work and did not return home. They left behind spouses, children, parents and sibling. And none of their heartache needed to happen.”
Last year, OSHA reported that 20.7% (1 out of every 5 workers) of all work-related fatalities in the United States involve construction workers. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths are known as the “Fatal Four.” These hazards include:
- Falls (39.2%)
- Struck by Object (8.2%)
- Electrocutions (7.3%)
- Caught-in/between (5.1%)
A Fatal Fall in Austin
On July 30, 2019, a steelworker in Austin, Texas fell to his death in what is being considered a workplace accident. The deceased subcontractor was building steel for Steelco, Inc.’s latest project, an office building in Paloma Ridge. He fell approximately 40-feet and was instantly killed. OSHA is already investigating the case to discover if safety violations contributed to the steelworker’s death.
What If I’ve Been Hurt in a Fall?
Falls are the most common cause of work-related injuries and deaths in the construction industry. If you’ve survived a fall, you’re likely struggling with physical injuries, pain complications, and financial anxiety over missed work and medical bills. Fortunately, an injured employee can usually secure medical and disability benefits that cover a percentage of their lost wages by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Of course, some employers or their insurers may challenge a claim to avoid a costly payout or increased insurance premiums. In this scenario, you must retain the services of a knowledgeable legal representative as soon as possible.
A construction worker can sustain the following injuries after a devastating fall:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Eye injuries
- Neck, shoulder, or back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
It’s also important to consider why the accident occurred at all. Did your employer provide you with safety gear? Were you forced to work in dangerous weather conditions? Were fall protections installed? These are all concerns that could indicate an OSHA violation. If you believe that your accident is directly linked to your employer’s negligence, contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC today.
Injured in a Fall? Call The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC
If you or a loved one has been harmed or killed in a work-related fall, you need to contact a qualified attorney at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC. Our work injury lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of this challenging field of law, and can direct you through the workers’ compensation process, third party liability claims, and even wrongful death lawsuits. Our trial-tested team can also investigate the accident, identify any liable parties, and help you pursue justice and compensatory damages through civil litigation.
Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112 to discuss your legal options with a qualified attorney.