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The Fatal Four Construction Site Injuries

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For many years, construction has ranked as one of the most dangerous jobs in America. About two-thirds of the fatal construction accidents in Tampa are in one of the four categories discussed below.

One of the real tragedies of these accidents is that they are relatively easy for employers to prevent. For example, perimeter protections, personal fall arrest equipment, and hole coverings could prevent most work-related falls. But to many employers, these precautions are unnecessary costs. So, they are unavailable.

Especially if there is evidence of employer recklessness, such as a lack of safety equipment, a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer could obtain substantial benefits for work injury victims. These victims need this compensation so they can return to work as quickly as possible. Ultimately, that’s what everyone wants in these situations.

Struck By

An old construction site saying compares a hammer to a handgun. You shouldn’t take either one off your belt unless you intend to use it.

If a worker drops a hammer or a similar object onto his/her foot, the only damage is a sore toe and maybe a bruised ego. But if a worker drops an object onto the ground while s/he is several stories in the air, the resulting injury could be catastrophic or fatal to a pedestrian on the ground.

A failure to communicate often causes such injuries. Not all workers are aware of this hazard. It’s up to employers to explain the problem to workers and emphasize the need to put safety first, even if safety means sacrificing work efficiency. For cost reasons, many construction site owners and managers don’t effectively convey this message to their employees.

Caught Between

These accidents almost always involve large construction vehicles, like dump trucks, and pedestrians. The victim is “caught between” a vehicle and a fixed object, like a retaining wall.

Pedestrians have almost no protection from vehicles in situations like these. Furthermore, many employees who drive construction vehicles, especially if it’s just a repositioning, have little if any experience behind the wheel of these massive vehicles.

Personal injury pedestrian claims usually hinge on fault. The victim must prove that the driver was entirely at fault, or at least mostly at fault, to obtain compensation for injuries. But workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance. A Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer must only prove that the injury occurred at work.

Electrocutions

So much power travels through electric wires that brief contact with a live wire could cause a number of serious injuries, such as:

  • Burn Injuries: The temperature of that power usually exceeds the surface temperature of the sun. Furthermore, the power surge often triggers an involuntary muscle contraction (the “no let go” effect), so the burn is even worse.
  • Falls: Frequently, the fatal four construction accidents are related to each other. The extreme heat and force often causes an arc blast. This blast, much like an explosive blast, propels victims through the air.
  • Brain Injuries: Nonfatal electrical currents often kill nerve cells (neuropathy) at the point of contact. The symptoms may appear almost immediately. Generally, however, nerve damage has a very long latency period. Even if the workers’ compensation deadline has passed, these benefits might still be available.

Workers’ compensation benefits in Florida usually include lost wage replacement and medical bill payment.

Falls

A fall from as little as four stories above ground is usually fatal. Therefore, falls are, by far, the most common fatal construction site injuries in Florida.

Pre-existing conditions, like a bad knee, increase the risk of a fall as well as the severity of fall injuries. Usually, full compensation is available, even if a pre-existing condition contributed to the job injury.

Contact a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney

Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

Resource:

assp.org/education/the-osha-fatal-four

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