Construction workers are often faced with a high risk of injury due to the operations they engage in and the equipment they have to use. During the past years, Florida's construction industry has registered relentless growth. This is one of the fields our economy relies on and it provides jobs for thousands of people. Nonetheless, construction sites are often the scene of terrible occupational accidents and fatalities. If you work in this industry, here are some statistics that might interest you and some useful information on your right to file a personal injury claim and get compensated.
The Shocking Truth About Construction Workplace Safety
Florida's construction industry is an important branch of our economy and it generates jobs and income for tens of thousands of people. However, it is also one of the fields that sees the highest risk of work-related injuries. Here are some relevant statistics concerning the occupation injury and fatality rate related to Florida's construction industry.
- In the US, an average of two people who work in the construction industry dies every day due to occupational injuries.
- The death rate registered in the construction industry is higher than the national occupational fatality average related to other industries.
- Nationwide, 20% of all work-related fatalities are connected to the construction industry.
- In Florida, it is estimated that more than 300 workers die due to occupational accidents each year.
- During the past 7 years, Florida's construction-related fatalities have registered an increase of 140%.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics certified 309 fatalities in 2016, compared to 272 injuries suffered in 2015. The private construction sector registered the largest share of these fatalities: 101 deaths, which represented a significant increase compared to the previous year when only 75 fatalities were registered.
The most frequent types of construction accidents include:
- Falls from elevations
- Injuries related to falling objects
- Equipment-related accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trench collapses
- Crane accidents
- Hoist accidents
- Harness accidents
- Collapsed structures
- Welding accidents
- Cell tower accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Scaffolding accidents
Every year at least 631 employees are killed in our country by the following "Fatal Four":
- Falls - 338 out of 1,008 total deaths in construction in 2018. Annually, falls are one of the major causes of work-related fatalities in Florida, accounting for approximately one-third of the total number of deaths registered in this industry
- Struck by object - 112 deaths in construction in 2018
- Electrocutions - 86 deaths in construction in 2018
- Caught-in/between - 55 deaths in construction in 2018
What Are Some Common Causes of Construction Injuries?
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to have specific permits, implement job safety programs, and conduct regular inspections. Construction site accidents that might have been avoidable can be the result of product defects, negligence, and failure to adhere to safety policies and procedures.
Leading causes of construction accidents include:
- Insufficient training
- Poor safety precautions and oversight
- Improper use or maintenance of equipment
- Lack of fall protection on elevated structures
- Lack of protection on the ground from falling objects
- Tripping hazards from construction materials and debris
- Power tools that miss guards or protections
- Lack of protection near power lines
- Lack of protection in trenches
- Unsafe property conditions
- Compressed gases
- Mechanical hazards
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Defective equipment
- Misuse of tools
The lax adherence to safety and industry training standards, along with an increasing demand for faster results, has led to dangerous conditions for construction workers.
A Few Fine Points About Florida's Construction Industry
According to the U.S. Labor Department, Florida is one of the states with the strongest construction industries in our country. Construction is one of the 5 strongest industries in our state and its stability is because a steady annual number of new residents and tourists are drawn to Florida.
- The number of jobs Florida's construction industry generated in 2016 increased with 22,300 and about 286 billion dollars were invested in public construction.
- By the year 2023, it is assumed that the construction industry will reach a 30.2 growth rate that will be more than the sum of all the other industries.
- During the past 5 years, the revenue related to this industry has grown by an annualized value of 9.9%, amounting to $13.3 billion. Last year alone, the anticipated growth was 4.5%.
- More than half a million workers are employed in Florida's construction industry.
- Between April 2017 and April 2018, Florida's construction industry generated 34,900 more jobs.
Who Can Be Sued for Construction Accident Injuries?
If you were the victim of an accident that took place on a construction site, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and correlated damages which may include days off work, financial loss, lost earning opportunities, emotional pain and suffering, etc.
Some of the biggest companies in Florida's construction industry include the following:
- PCL Construction Services (Orlando) & PCL Civil Constructors (Tampa)
- Power Design
- Moss & Associates
- Dakenna Development
- ShayCore Enterprises
- North Florida Field Services
- Armstrong Air & Heating
- United Wall Systems
- Thunder Bay Builders
- Roofing by Curry
- Premier Technology Systems
- Urban Partners Construction
- DPR Construction
Besides being exposed to the risk of injury, often, construction employees are also exposed to chronic lung diseases, including cancer and asbestosis due to the toxic dust and chemical substances inhalation. Because of this exposure to toxic substances, approximately 50% of construction workers may suffer from hearing loss, neurological damage, but also infertility and chronic pain. This may also enable you to access compensation.
Several parties can be held accountable if you have been injured in a construction-related job.
- The construction site owner(s)
- General and sub-contractors
- Prime contractors
- Architects and engineers
- The designer of the working equipment/defective part
- The manufacturer of defective (safety) equipment and machines
- The employer, if the injury was egregious or intentional
- The construction team manager
What Damages Can an Attorney Help You Recover?
Victims of construction accidents and their families can suffer severe physical, financial, and psychological pain. A person's life can be significantly impacted by permanent injuries, extensive medical bills, and dealing with the trauma of a serious injury. By filing a lawsuit against a negligent party, an attorney may be able to help you recover:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Physical therapy
- Ongoing living expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium for widows or widowers
If you've been injured in a construction accident and believe you have a claim for your injuries, our experienced personal injury attorney can help you by immediately starting an investigation into your case. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we are here to help you with professional advice and legal support if you have suffered occupational injuries.
Our Process to Your Construction Accident Case
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, in Miami, our lawyer represents construction workers throughout Florida who suffer on-the-job injuries.
Your initial meeting
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your accident privately and confidentially. We can talk freely about the details of your accident and potential case, and we'll explain your options.
Our legal team will gather records related to your claim that will help us understand the extent of your injury. We'll collect information about your medical records, bills, and insurance policy to build your case for compensation.
Investigating your case
We work in great detail with experts to identify the cause and hold the negligent party accountable. Prompt investigation can often uncover violations of OSHA safety rules. For this reason, it's important to contact us as soon as possible so we can collect and preserve evidence of those violations.
We negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help get you the compensation you're entitled to. We'll present a comprehensive package that takes into account your costs, losses, and expenses caused by the negligent party. When we receive a settlement offer from the insurance company, we'll review it carefully with you, and together we'll decide what our next steps should be. We're prepared to present your case in the strongest possible form at trial if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful. We can help you recover full compensation for everything you have lost by filing a personal injury lawsuit.