OSHA’s “Fatal Four” and Wrongful Death on the Job
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) names four primary causes of construction workers’ deaths, which include the following:
FALLS – 35%
Falls are the leading cause of fatal construction accidents. Common construction site dangers include open and unprotected floor holes, wall openings, faulty construction of scaffolds, and misuse of portable ladders. OSHA mandates the use of guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest systems in the event workers are exposed to a fall hazard of six feet or more above a lower level. Where a floor hole is present, OSHA mandates that the floor hole must be covered immediately and the covers must be able to support twice the weight of employees, materials, and equipment.
STRUCK-BY OBJECTS – 10 %
These incidents occur by falling or flying objects, including heavy equipment as well as falling material such as bricks.
ELECTROCUTION – 9%
Electrocutions are very dangerous accidents and can lead to death. They most often occur when a worker comes into contact with a power line, when extension cords are misused, there is lack of ground-fault protection, when a path to ground is missing, and when equipment is not used in a safe, prescribed manner.
CAUGHT-IN OR BETWEEN ACCIDENTS – 3%
These accidents occur under devastating circumstances where a worker is badly injured or killed as the result of becoming stuck and effectively crushed between objects. These injuries can occur during trenching when there are cave-ins. They may occur when workers become compressed between shifting objects such as a loading dock wall and a semi-trailer.
Wrongful Death Suit
When a loved one dies in New York as the result of the negligent or wrongful actions of others, a wrongful death lawsuit may be initiated to seek recovery for all damages that are legally compensable as the result of the negligent or wrongful actions. New York statutes provide that a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by:
- A child of the decedent,
- A parent of the decedent,
- A spouse of the decedent, and
- The personal representative for the estate of the decedent.
A New York wrongful death claim can include financial compensation for many damages that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation death benefits. A wrongful death claim can result in compensation for loss of financial support, loss of love and emotional support, loss of quality of life, and the pain and suffering your loved one endured before their passing.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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