You can sustain an injury doing any job; however, certain industries have a higher risk of fatal injuries, such as the Fatal Four of construction accidents, which include:
- Workers struck by moving objects
- Workers caught in or between objects
- Electrical incidents
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Fatal Four caused more than 58 percent of all construction industry deaths in 2014. This equates to 508 lives lost due to these four causes. Falls are especially dangerous; they caused almost 40 percent of all construction worker deaths in 2014.
How can workers prevent these accidents?
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires construction companies to employ accident prevention programs that meet strict standards. This includes ensuring workers have the information and resources they need to stay safe, no matter where they are working.
Under OSHA standards, employers need to offer training on a wide variety of industry hazards as well as how to avoid them. This includes:
- Guardrails and other fall-safety systems
- Personal fall arrest systems
- Preventing ladder and scaffolding falls
- Recognition of caught-in or caught-between hazards
- Spotting struck-by hazards
- Nail gun safety
- Safety with cranes and rigging
- Electrical safety
However, just because the OSHA standards are in place does not mean employers follow them. In fact, even though falls are the leading cause of construction worker deaths, lack of fall protection was the most common OSHA violation on jobsites between October 2014 and September 2015.
Is our family eligible for workers' comp death benefits?
When a construction worker dies due to a Fatal Four incident, his spouse or children are eligible for a dependency award from his workers’ compensation death benefits. Parents of an adult child who died without leaving a spouse or children are also eligible for an award, although this is typically a smaller, no-dependency award.
In order to receive any workers’ comp death benefits, family members must prove the death was a direct result of the on-the-job injury. Providing medical proof is sometimes more difficult than it should be, and usually requires forms completed by the physician and the funeral home, as well as applications and documentation from the family.
How can Goldstein & Bashner help?
When you have just lost a beloved family member, the last thing you want to do is worry about your financial future. The construction accident attorneys at Goldstein & Bashner on Long Island have experience guiding families through the workers’ compensation death benefits process.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 516-222-4000. You may also find our article about what to do after a construction accident helpful if you or a loved one were injured on the job.