California construction workers at high risk

California residents working in construction jobs have the right to seek compensation when injured on the job. Learn how to get help.

Southern California's moderate climate makes it possible for construction projects to be pursued on a virtually year-round basis as compared with much of the rest of the country. This also increases the opportunities for injuries to occur given that employees can be working on job sites more days each year.

The most common causes of fatal construction accidents are frequently referred to as the fatal four by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA's 2011 records indicate that the fatal four were responsible for a large many of the industry's deaths that year which together comprised 17 percent of all private sector workplace fatalities. Falls, electrocutions, entrapments and contact with objects are included in the fatal four.

A view across the country

Headlines in the media make it all too easy to grasp the seriousness of the risks that construction workers face on a daily basis. Some recent stories include:

  • On a bridge construction site in Iowa, a worker died while waiting for emergency help to arrive. He had become trapped under equipment on the job site as reported by the Sioux City Journal.
  • Entrapment was the cause of another death, this one reported by The man was working with an excavator on a site in Texas.
  • In New York, a project to convert a parking lot to a new hotel turned deadly when a slab of concrete estimated to weigh multiple tons crushed a man to death. The New York Times indicated that this same construction project was subject to safety violations this past summer. Work has been suspended by authorities.
  • A man was electrocuted and killed while working on a construction project at a hospital in the Seattle area as reported by local television station,
  • Closer to home, the Daily Democrat provided details of the death of two men working on the Winters Bridge. The construction workers were being suspended 80 feet in the air by a crane when they fell and died.

In addition to wrongful death, serious and lifelong injuries and disabilities can easily result from accidents on construction sites, making the need for improved safety and compensation highly important.

How many California workers die each year?

Certainly the number of people who are injured or die varies each year but a look at the 2012 U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics can give a representative view of the problem.

Out of the state's total workplace fatalities, 15.5 percent happened due to accidents in the construction industry. Transportation was a noted cause in nearly 30 percent of all construction industry deaths and falls, slips and trips were identified in almost 33 percent.

Legal representation is important

When accidents happen on construction job sites, regardless of how serious the consequence, every employee and family member deserves compensation. Seeking help from an experienced lawyer is recommended to facilitate this.

Keywords: construction, worksite, accident, injury