Driving through a construction zone during congested rush hour traffic can be frustrating to say the least. However, no one can deny that construction workers perform very necessary services in Louisiana. They repair our roads and other infrastructures, erect buildings and homes and remodel or refurbish existing buildings.
Yet, despite the importance of construction work to our state’s economy, the fact is that construction workers face many on-the-job dangers that lead to workplace injuries or even fatalities. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that of all private industry workplace fatalities in 2017, excluding motor vehicle accidents, most fatalities took place in the construction industry.
In fact, construction worker deaths accounted for one in five of all private industry worker deaths. OSHA has identified the four main causes of construction worker deaths, which it has labeled the “Fatal Four.”
The primary cause of construction worker deaths was falls at 39.2%. The second most common cause of construction worker deaths was being struck by an object at 8.2%. Electrocutions accounted for 7.3% of construction worker deaths. Finally, being caught-in/between equipment or objects or being crushed by a structure, equipment or materials accounted for 5.1% of construction worker deaths.
If the “Fatal Four” were eliminated, the BLS estimates that 582 lives would be saved annually.
However, construction worker deaths will continue to occur as nothing can protect construction workers from all on-the-job dangers. While some workers may not pass away from their workplace injuries, other workplace injuries will be fatal. Fortunately for the surviving family members of fatal workplace accidents in Louisiana, death benefits may be available through the state’s workers’ compensation system.
The amount paid depends on what surviving dependents the deceased had and the age of those dependents, in the case of children. The information in the posts on this Louisiana wrongful death law blog do not contain legal advice, so those in need of representation following a fatal workplace accident will want to seek guidance from a professional.