The Willow Island disaster, which occurred in April of 1978 and killed 51 construction workers all working on a scaffold, is considered the largest construction accident in the history of the United States. So many more construction site accidents happened before and after this one tragic event, all severely injuring scores of workers and taking the lives of many others.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics records about 150,000 job-related injuries annually in construction sites alone, making industrial jobs the most dangerous of all types of works. To ensure safety in construction sites, in particular, and in all workplaces, in general, the United States government passed into law the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSH Act, in 1970 which, after a year, established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHS’ main concern is to implement the mandate on safe and healthy working conditions in all work environments for the benefit of all employees.
In 2012, of the 4,175 deaths involving employees in the private sector, 806 were construction workers. The top four causes of deaths, which OSHA came to call the “Fatal Four,” include: falls; being struck by something, such as a truck, crane, a falling wall, a falling object or other heavy tool or vehicle; electrocution; and, being caught-in/between.
A personal injury attorney will always emphasize the necessity of construction jobs, yet will also affirm the many dangers construction workers are regularly exposed to. Thus, property owners, contractors, machinery manufacturers and all workers have the responsibility of doing their part in keeping working sites as safe as possible to avoid untoward incidents, which, in reality, can be avoided.
When an accident occurs, however, then hiring a highly-competent legal counsel may be necessary. He/She may be able to help the accident victim assess the extent of the injury, apply for Worker’s Compensation benefit or pursue the best legal action against the liable party (if the injured victims waives his/her claim for the Worker’s Comp benefit).Read More