The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the construction industry as the largest and most dangerous in the United States; those of you who work in construction or have a construction worker in the family understand the dangers associated with this type of work. Construction workers are around dangerous tools, heavy machinery, and hazardous chemicals each and every day. When something goes wrong, the result can be fatal. Heavy machinery accidents in the United States are all too common, and they often result in catastrophic injury or death.
Vehicles, which are included in the “heavy machinery” category, are a major cause of injuries and deaths in the construction industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), vehicles caused over “7600 deaths between 1992 and 2010 at a rate of about 404 deaths annually.” The BLS also reports that between 2008 and 2010, over half of construction fatalities at road construction sites were the direct result of vehicles. The BLS reports “dump trucks are the most common cause of construction worker injury and death due to mobile heavy equipment.” These types of vehicles killed 100 workers in a seven-year period, the BLS indicates.
The BLS reports the transportation and material moving occupational group and the “construction and extraction occupational” group accounted for 47% of worker deaths in 2017. Within the occupational subgroup “driver/sales workers and truck drivers,” heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the largest number of fatal occupational injuries with 840.
Cranes are one of the most dangerous pieces of heavy equipment on a construction site. According to the BLS, in just one year:
- Crane collapses caused 25 deaths and 59 injuries
- Contact with overhead power lines caused 10 deaths and 8 injuries
- Contact with a crane load caused 6 deaths and 10 injuries
- Other accidents involving cranes caused 7 deaths and 16 injuries
Backhoes are also involved in a number of serious injuries and deaths on construction sites. For all heavy equipment operators, rollovers are the number one cause of serious injury and death.
Why You Need an Attorney
A workplace injury may your life forever. You may need weeks, months, or years of medical treatment and rehabilitation, and you may never again be whole. You may never be able to work again, or you may need to work at a job that’s less active than what you enjoy. When you add in the emotional stress of being injured and out of work, the results of a heavy machinery accident can be catastrophic.
Heavy equipment accidents are all too common, even with OSHA regulations in place on every job site.
Although you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim on your own, it’s not recommended; an experienced Workers’ Comp lawyer like J. Ransdell Keene will navigate the complex maze of a Workers’ Compensation claim for you. While the system is supposed to benefit both employers and employees, it’s not easy to get the compensation you need and deserve following an accident on the job. Even the slightest mistake on your paperwork could result in denial of your claim. An experienced lawyer who’s handled heavy machinery accident claims will know how to fight the system to get you the benefits you need to pay your medical bills and provide for you and your family.
Your case may warrant a third-party personal injury lawsuit if the heavy machinery you were using at the time of your accident malfunctioned or was defective in some way. You simply cannot go through this legal maze alone.