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Common causes of construction site accidents

Construction workers in North Carolina and around the country perform extremely dangerous tasks. Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveals that the construction sector accounts for more than 20 percent of all private sector worker deaths despite employing only about 6 percent of the population. Deaths in the industry reached almost 1,000 in 2016 according to OSHA, and a great many of these workers died in accidents caused by five common construction site hazards.

Falls are the most common cause of construction site accidents and account for more than one in three worker deaths. Issuing workers with the proper safety equipment and meeting OSHA standards by ensuring that fall-protection equipment is in place can reduce the risks. Being struck by an object is the second most common cause of construction fatalities. Almost 10 percent of the construction workers killed in on-the-job accidents each year are struck by motor vehicles or other objects.

Taking proper precautions such as locating and identifying underground and overhead power lines could prevent electrocution accidents, which is the third most common cause of construction site deaths. Trench collapses are a leading cause of caught-in-between fatalities on construction sites, which account for about 7 percent of all construction worker deaths. Exposure to toxic chemicals or other substances is the fifth leading cause of fatal construction accidents. According to OSHA, providing workers with comprehensive safety training and taking workplace risks seriously could prevent many accidents and save countless lives.

Most construction workers are eligible for workers' compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. An attorney can often provide guidance with regard to the preparation and submission of the required claim documentation.

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