Families may receive death benefits after a construction fatality

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2019 | Firm News |

Connecticut workers’ compensation law does not just protect construction workers injured on the job. There are also death benefits for family members of workers who lose their lives due to job-related injuries.

These benefits are critical in this industry in particular because, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, just over 20% of worker fatalities in 2017 were in construction. More than half of the 971 fatalities occurred as a result of just four leading types of accidents.

1. Falls

By far, falls cause the most deaths in construction. Considering that falls contributed to 381 deaths in 2017, it may come as no surprise that fall protection violations are the most common citations issued by OSHA. The top 10 citations also include scaffolding and ladder safety regulation violations and failure to meet fall protection training requirements.

The solutions to preventing falls include wearing fall-arrest equipment, installing protection around perimeters, covering and marking floor openings, and safely using ladders and scaffolds.

2. Struck-by-object accidents

The number of workers killed when an object struck them represents less than 10% of the construction fatalities in 2017. Falling tools, building materials and equipment pose a serious risk.

Workers can prevent these types of accidents by staying out of locations between fixed and moving objects and wearing bright clothing when working around vehicles or equipment.

3. Electrocutions

Contact with power lines, bare wires, defective equipment and improperly used extension cords are some of the most common electrocution risks on construction sites. Electricity killed 71 workers in 2017. To prevent electrocution, workers should:

    • Locate utilities and power lines before beginning work.
    • Learn and follow safe-distance requirements around power lines.
    • Use only grounded or double insulated portable electric tools.
    • Identify and remain alert to electrical hazards when using ladders and scaffolds.

4. Caught-in and caught-between accidents

This fatal accident category includes not only those caught in machinery or equipment, but also those compressed by objects and those killed by collapsing structures, materials or equipment. 50 workers died in these types of accidents in 2017.

Trenches are particularly high-risk areas on construction sites. Workers should always ensure that trenches and excavations have appropriate shield systems and never enter an unprotected trench of more than 5 feet in depth.