New York Construction Accidents: Beware of the Fatal Four

Construction sites can be a dangerous place to work. While any number of errors and oversights can lead to serious injuries or deaths, more than half of all construction accidents are attributable to one of four causes.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to these construction hazards as the “Fatal Four.” They include:

  • Falls — Falls from scaffolding and other objects accounted for 259 out of 738 total deaths in construction in 2011.
  • Electrocutions — Electrical hazards, such as contact with overhead power lines, energized sources and improper use of extension and flexible cords, comprised nine percent of construction fatalities in 2011.
  • Struck by object — Fatalities involving falling objects and heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes made up 10 percent of all construction fatalities in 2011.
  • Caught-in/between — Workers getting squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched or compressed between two or more objects, including getting caught or crushed by equipment, accounted for two percent of the 2011 construction deaths.

Many of these injuries and deaths are preventable through proper safety precautions. In fact, OSHA estimates that eliminating these four construction hazards would save the lives of 419 construction workers every year.

For construction accident victims and their families, it is possible to seek compensation from anyone whose negligence or wrongdoing contribution to the accident, which may include the worker’s direct employer, contractors working on the site, equipment manufacturers, architects, site managers and building owners. In August, the parents of a construction worker killed in a New York City construction accident successfully settled their wrongful death action for $1 million.  Michael Simermeyer was crushed when a crane collapsed at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s No. 7 subway extension project last year.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a construction accident in New York, the experienced personal injury lawyers of Michael Sepe, LLC can explain your rights and your legal options.