The construction industry in general can be highly dangerous, but in particular, smaller companies often fall short of providing adequate safety management. The proof can be found in a third quarter report for 2018 published by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).
According to the report, smaller construction companies are more likely to experience fatal work-related accidents. In 2016, 67 percent of all construction-related deaths for the year were reported in companies with no more than 19 employees. The fatality rate for these smaller companies was significantly higher than in companies with 20 or more employees. In part, this may be because smaller companies are under more pressure to cut corners in order to reduce cost.
Most common fatal construction accident among small companies
From 2011 to 2016, the most common fatal accidents within the construction industry included:
- Falls to lower levels: Falling from ladders, scaffolding, and other equipment increased by 26 percent from 2001 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 61.5 percent of these fatal accidents occurred within companies with less than 10 employees.
- Struck by accidents: These accidents involve being struck by equipment, materials or debris. Approximately 32.8 percent of deaths attributed to struck by accidents occurred in establishments with no more than 10 employees.
- Electrocutions: Uncovered wires and water exposed wires on a construction site can result in electrocutions. Approximately 55.6 percent of electrocution deaths happen within companies with no more than 10 employees.
- Caught-in/between accidents: When workers get caught inside or in between equipment and structures, they can be fatally injured. Approximately 44.9 percent of caught-in/between accidents occur in companies with no more than 10 employees.
Who is the most at risk?
During the same time period, construction companies with no more than 10 employees experienced more than half of construction deaths in the following subsectors:
- Residential building: 77.6%
- Siding contractors: 75.7%
- Framing contractors: 75%
- Painting and wall covering: 72.9%
- Roofing contractors: 70.7%
- Masonry contractors: 65.6%
- Drywall and insulation: 56.3%
- Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning: 52.1%
Regardless of a construction company's size, cutting corners to save time and money puts workers in danger of being seriously hurt. If you are one of those injured workers in greater Philadelphia, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. This means that your medical expenses and partial lost wages would be covered while you're unable to work.
Attorney Richard A. Jaffe has the experience and legal knowledge to help you navigate through the process. He will work tirelessly to negotiate with insurance companies for fair compensation. If you were injured in a construction accident in the Philadelphia area, contact him today to discuss your options.