Construction workers in South Carolina may be at a greater risk of dying or being injured in an accident in which they are struck by an object, equipment or vehicle than workers in other industries. These were the findings of the Center for Construction Research and Training. The organization looked at injuries and deaths from 2011 to 2015 and found that there were in excess of 800 fatalities in accidents involving a worker being struck. Moreover, construction workers were almost two times more likely to be injured in such an accident than workers across all other industries put together.
The risks were highest for workers 65 and older. Just over half of all workers killed were hit by equipment and objects, and the others were hit by vehicles. Most workers hit by vehicles were in work zones, and the most fatalities were among highway maintenance workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified these types of accidents as one of four of the most common construction accidents. The others are electrocution hazards, falls and accidents that involve workers being caught in or between equipment or other objects. However, while OSHA was reporting regularly on safety violations, under the Trump administration these reports have virtually come to an end. In the absence of these reports, industry watchers have stepped in to share information about fines and violations.
Workers who are injured in these types of accidents are usually eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. They may not always be aware of this right, and their employers might not inform them or may even tell them that they are not eligible. Benefits can be critical for workers and their families, so injured workers may want to talk to an attorney about their rights.