The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for over 130 million American workers at over eight million job sites. Yet OSHA has less than 2,000 inspectors to monitor all these workers. That translated to about one inspector for every 70,000 workers. So, if you believe government inspectors can keep your workplace safe, you may want to think again. OSHA estimates that the Fatal Four injuries, which are listed below, cause most workplace fatalities.
When government bureaucrats fail to protect people, a Marietta personal injury lawyer usually stands in the gap. Our team not only makes workplaces safer by forcing companies to put people before profits. We also obtain the financial compensation these survivors need and deserve. They need it to pay medical bills and other final expenses. They deserve it because, in most cases, the workplace accident was not the decedent’s fault.
A fall from as little as four stories above ground is normally fatal. Slip-and-fall injuries are often fatal, as well, if the victim had a pre-existing condition.
These incidents are also easy for most employers to prevent. Simple precautions, like fall arrest equipment/safety harnesses, perimeter protection, safe ladder and scaffold usage, and covered floor openings could prevent most of these incidents.
Companies not only have a duty to provide this and other safety equipment. They also have a legal responsibility to explain to workers how to use it, and why they should use it. Furthermore, these explanations must be in a language workers can understand. Providing an interpreter might not be enough, because even then, important items often get lost in translation.
Most construction sites have almost as many large vehicles as they have workers. As workers scurry about, they cannot always dodge these large vehicles. Frequently, construction vehicle operators have little experience behind the wheel, especially if they are just “moving the truck.”
When a construction worker is “caught between” a large vehicle and a fixed object, like a retaining wall, the victim normally sustains life-threatening injuries, like internal injuries and head injuries. Even if these victims survive, their injuries are normally permanent.
Collapsed work trenches are a similar problem. The standard of care requires these trenches to be reinforced with steel or concrete. Workers should never have to go into hazardous areas and take their chances.
There is an old story that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building would kill a pedestrian on the street. This story is partially true. The penny picks up that much momentum as it falls to earth. So, imagine what a larger hand tool could do if a worker drops it five or ten stories. Even if the victim is wearing a hard hat, the chances of survival are slim.
Normally, workers’ compensation covers struck by and other fatal construction accidents. Workers’ comp replaces lost wages and pays reasonably necessary medical bills. Survivors may be able to file civil damage claims in court in some cases. Additional compensation, such as money for emotional distress, is available in these cases.
On busy construction sites, it is hard to tell the difference between a live wire and a dead one, especially if the victim has limited English skills.
Live electric wires carry power that’s hotter than the temperature of the sun. Even a few moments of contact could cause a fatal burn. That is especially true since such a strong surge of power causes an involuntary muscle contraction (the “no let go” reflex) in the victim.
Alternatively, the arc blast could propel the victim through the air, causing a fall from a height, which as discussed above, is often fatal.