Construction workers face inherently dangerous situations on a daily basis. Unfortunately, and often tragically, the construction industry sees frequent injury and death related to on-the-job work. The number of construction accidents in Florida varies each year. According to the 2020 report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 241 fatal work injuries in Florida in 2019. Of these, 65 were in the construction industry, which accounted for more than a quarter of all fatal work injuries in the state. The years 2020 and 2021 followed a similar trend, with 82 and 76 fatalities in the construction industry.
BLS found that there were 3,490 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving Florida construction workers in 2019. This figure includes injuries and illnesses that resulted in medical treatment beyond first aid, days away from work, or subsequent job transfer and restriction. It’s worth noting that these figures represent the illnesses or injuries that were reported to BLS. However, any injuries or illnesses that were not reported are not added. Because of the construction industry’s potential for underreporting illnesses and injuries, the nonfatal injury and illness rate may be reportedly higher.
Going into 2023, workers in the construction industry face situations that could lead to injury or death every day. For example:
- Nearly 93 percent of construction laborers are required to use medium or heavy strength. Further, according to BLS, on average, construction laborers are required to lift or carry up to 58.8 pounds, compared to the 26.3 pounds average for all other occupations. Lifting heavy equipment can result in soft tissue injuries as well as other physical harm.
- Over half of all construction workers are exposed to heights of 5 feet or more and the worker is at risk of falling. This means that the worker is not protected by railings or walls to help prevent falling.
- Nearly one-third of all construction laborers are required to operate vehicles. Deaths related to transportation in the construction industry have been at an all-time high in recent years. Based on other data, Florida construction work zones experienced more than 53,000 work zone-related crashes, including more than 356 fatalities and more than 1,904 severe injuries, based on statewide data from over five years (2017-2021).
Steps to Take if There Has Been an Accident on a Construction Site:
Immediate response: Call 911. Injured workers should receive medical attention as quickly as possible.
Investigation: After 911 is called, local law enforcement will likely investigate the accident to determine the cause and any contributing factors. The investigation may include interviews of any witnesses, reviewing the site’s safety protocols and equipment, and investigating the scene of the accident.
Reporting: Any time an employee is injured on the job, the employer or authorities may be required to report the accident to a regulatory body, such as OSHA. Because construction sites can involve a number of people from different parts of the industry, such as contractors, subcontractors, and property owners (individuals or businesses), it is important to know who to contact in the event of a workplace accident.
Follow-up: After the initial investigation, follow-up may be needed. The employer is responsible for the accident may need to improve the site’s safety protocols to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
Workers’ compensation: Any time a worker is injured on the job, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs.
Legal action: In cases that involve an employer’s negligence, injured workers or their families may choose to hire an attorney to pursue legal action against the employer or other parties that may be liable for the accident.
Contact Clayton Trial Lawyers
If you have been injured while on the job at a construction site, contact the experienced construction accident lawyers at CTL today.