Although every construction site in Texas may pose many unique hazards, workers on all building sites must also be prepared to deal with the typical dangers of this industry. Some injury types make up a significant portion of workers’ compensation claims filed by construction workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified the “fatal four,” which represents the four injury types that cause most of the fatalities in this industry.
All these deaths and injuries are preventable by compliance with safety standards. Falls cause most of the fatal injuries, and all workers at elevations that exceed 6 feet have to wear adequate fall protection. Adequate safety rails or guards must be installed on open edges of work platforms and scaffolds. Electrocutions are the second most prevalent cause of employee deaths, mostly involving direct or indirect contact with energized power lines.
Numbers three and four on the list include struck-by and caught-in or between injuries. Many deaths follow being struck by construction vehicles or moving equipment. Falling or flying objects also pose struck-by hazards. Workers who become trapped and squeezed, pinched, crushed or caught in or between objects can suffer fatal injuries. This could even include being buried by collapsing trench walls.
In most cases, deceased construction workers in Texas leave behind grieving family members who also have to deal with the financial consequences of the unanticipated deaths of loved ones. Under Texas laws, employers can opt out of the workers’ compensation system. However, an experienced attorney can help surviving family members to pursue compensation through the workers’ compensation system or nonsubscribing employers’ insurance policies.