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Certain types of fatal construction accidents on the rise

Construction company managers and workers in Oklahoma recognize the hazardous nature of their work. Numerous safety regulations aim to prevent injuries and deaths, but caught-in, caught-between and struck-by accidents continue to claim lives. Research from the Center for Construction Research and Training has determined that deaths arising from these types of accidents are increasing at a faster rate than construction fatalities overall.

Between 2011 and 2015, construction-related deaths went up by 26 percent, but caught-in and caught-between fatal accidents rose by 33 percent. The majority of the fatalities resulted from people caught under falling materials. Older workers and young workers under age 20 experienced the greatest likelihood of dying on the job, especially ironworkers.

During the same period, struck-by accidents ended the lives of over 800 construction workers. Vehicles struck almost 18 percent of the victims, and falling objects or equipment accounted for 51 percent of the deaths.

Companies have resources that could reduce on-the-job dangers. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Safety Performance Evaluation Process has the potential to improve a company's safety record as much as 670 percent above the industry average. The program emphasizes proactive safety training, especially for new hires, and the use of site safety committees.

A construction site accident could inflict serious injuries on a worker that result in lost wages and medical bills. Construction workers' accidents may qualify for coverage under the employer's workers compensation insurance. A person who needs information about these benefits might want impartial guidance from an attorney. With legal support, a person may be able to overcome efforts by an employer or insurance company to block access to benefits. In addition to identifying coverage and preparing insurance paperwork, an attorney might recommend filing a lawsuit to pursue a settlement that more fully reflects the person's need.

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