A brick and concrete wall collapsed on a building in Northwest D.C. in a construction accident earlier this month, injuring three construction workers. Of the three, two were critically injured. According to EMS workers, the wall was sheared off the side of a hotel and landed in front of the entrance and on top of the three workers.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.
What are the Five Most Common Causes of Construction Accidents in Northwest D.C. and Beyond?
Construction has a dangerous reputation as one of the most dangerous jobs. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,386 workers died in 2014. Of that number, at least 899 (approximately one in five) worked in the construction industry.
These numbers show that when proper procedures and safety regulations are not followed, this creates a high-risk work environment. Construction workers are surrounded by heavy machinery, sharp tools and other heavy building materials and can face safety hazards at any given moment. The most common types of construction accidents include the following:
- Falls – construction workers often work from higher heights on scaffolding, roofs, in windows or on ladders. These types of accidents account for roughly 34 percent of all construction worker deaths, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Slip and falls – uneven ground, trenches and loose materials can lead to trips, slips or fall accidents
- Electrocutions – construction sites often have exposed wiring, unfinished electrical systems and power lines that can lead to electrocutions.
- Struck by accidents – especially on construction sites with buildings with multiple levels, falling materials or hanging beams can strike workers
- Fires or explosions – leaking gases, electrical systems and unfinished piping can lead to fires and explosions that endanger workers.
If You Have Been Injured in a Construction Accident, Contact an Attorney
In many cases, injured construction workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits that will help cover medical expenses and lost wages. In some instances, it may even be possible to hold other third-parties accountable, if negligence was involved. Those injured in a Northwest D.C. construction accident should contact a D.C. workers’ compensation attorney in order to better assess the situation and determine what the right step moving forward is.