This is one of the busiest times of year for one of the most dangerous types of work out there—construction. Did you know that one out of every ten construction workers is injured each year? According to OSHA, that’s a nearly 71% higher injury rate than any other industry. When looking at workplace fatalities as a whole in our nation, construction accidents account for 20% each year.
At Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C., many of our workers’ compensation cases are those of construction workers. Sadly, however, only half of serious workplace injuries are even reported each year, which means the injured worker will never receive the compensation they deserve. Let’s take a look at:
- Construction Injury Statistics in Pennsylvania
- Common Causes of Construction Worker Deaths
- What to do If You’re Injured On the Job
Construction Injury Statistics in Pennsylvania
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry is booming, and experts expect continued growth over the next five years. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing industries. As the number of workers in the industry grows, so do the injury rates. OSHA estimates that one in every ten construction workers are injured each year. In Pennsylvania alone last year, 9,827 construction workers were injured on the job. Here are some other statistics related to injuries in our state:
- The most frequent types of injuries involve sprains or strains—of muscles, tendons and/or ligaments—and account for 34% of all injuries
- The part of the body most often affected is the upper extremity—the shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers—with 3,682 injuries
- The most frequent cause of injury is overexertion, accounting for 2,156 injuries.
- The median age of the injured worker is 41 years old
- Philadelphia ranks number one when it comes to the county with most injuries. However, Lancaster County—which has a population of well over a half million people and where industry and job-growth are booming—is not far behind
Common Causes of Construction Worker Deaths
Out of 4,674 worker fatalities in the private industry in 2017, 971 were in construction. That’s one in five worker deaths. The four most common causes of fatal accidents in the construction industry were falls, blows from a large object, electrocution and workers being caught-in or compressed by equipment or other large objects. Here’s a closer look at the numbers.
- Falls accounted for 381 out of 971 total deaths in 2017 (39%)
- Workers being struck by an object accounted for 80 deaths (8%)
- Electrocutions caused 71 deaths (7%)
- Workers being caught-in or compressed by equipment or objects and struck, caught or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment or material caused 50 deaths (5%)
Research done by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries suggests over a 45-year career in construction, there is a 1 in 200 chance that a worker will die from a work-related accident.
What to do if You Are Injured on the Job
When you’re injured on the job, no matter what your profession, you’re likely dealing with a stack of confusing legal forms, insurance companies and an employer who is trying to get you back to work as soon as possible, even if it is not in the best interest of your long-term health. That’s where our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys step in to help. As you recover from your injuries, we will handle the paperwork, insurance companies and pressure from your employer, and we can provide valuable guidance and advice concerning the path of your medical treatment, which serves to strengthen your claim and increase your access to maximum compensation under the law. We can also help in the event your:
- workers’ compensation claim was denied
- employer refused to file an accident report
- payments are going to be reduced or suspended altogether
- employer, or its workers comp insurance company, offered you a lump sum settlement and you’re not sure what to do
Our attorneys can also help explain how the process works for independent contractors. If you contribute to Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation fund through your taxes, you have every right to make a claim. However, independent contractors and day laborers may not be eligible for workers’ comp unless they are employed through some kind of agency. That said, you should always have your case reviewed. In some cases, our attorneys may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit on your behalf to help you recover compensation for your lost time at work, any medical bills and your pain and suffering.
If you’re hurt on the job, Call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW! Our attorneys have helped secure millions of dollars for accident victims, and we can help you too. We’re available 24/7 and will come to you for a free consultation. We never collect a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today and we’ll handle everything from there!