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Top 4 Fatal Accidents in the Construction Industry

Construction worker wearing safety harness and safety line working at high place

A construction accident lawyer in NYC breaks down the risks workers face

Whether in New York City or anywhere in the state, working construction is a dangerous job. There are numerous safety precautions that must be taken at all sites to protect workers. But it only takes one mistake to cause a serious construction accident that can leave workers with serious injuries.

Sometimes those injuries can be fatal. There are four types of accidents that have been identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the leading causes of death in the construction industry. The agency refers to these accidents as the “Focus Four Hazards,” but they are sometimes known as “the Fatal Four.”

These accidents are:


Many construction jobs require workers to be high off the ground. Some workers stand on a ladder or scaffolding while doing their jobs. Others use a bucket truck, cherry picker, or aerial lift to raise them up. Some are even suspended in midair while attached to a harness system. There are safety procedures that need to be followed at all times. But it only takes one mistake to cause workers to fall to the ground, sometimes from several hundred feet in the air.

Struck By Objects

There are many types of vehicles and heavy equipment used on construction sites. These include pickup trucks, dump trucks, concrete mixers, bulldozers, cranes, excavators, front loaders, backhoes, and forklifts. These are very large and heavy vehicles operating in an area where there is a lot of activity. It’s important for everyone to pay close attention and follow all safety rules. An accident involving a construction worker can be extremely dangerous.

Caught By/In Between Accidents

There are several ways workers can be fatally injured in these types of accidents. Clothing or body parts can be caught in machinery. Walls that are not braced properly or jacks that are not stable can result in part of a building crashing down. Scaffolding can collapse and fall onto workers below. Trenches that are not properly supported can cave in.


Electricians work directly with live electricity and high voltage at construction sites. This can involve the installation or upgrading of power outlets, light fixtures, transformers, and circuit breakers. Laborers, roofers, HVAC technicians, and other workers do their jobs near live electricity, whether overhead or underground. Contact with an electrical current through defective power tools, faulty transformers, exposed wiring, high voltage power lines, or frayed cords can result in fatal injuries.

Legal help is available for injured workers in New York

Families are left with a devastating loss when workers die in on-the-job accidents. These families are entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, their loved ones’ medical expenses, lost wages, and other applicable damages.

But the legal process can be complicated and confusing. Employers and their insurance companies often dispute claims and try to pay as little as possible. Or they reject claims completely. That’s why it’s important to know your legal rights and options.

If you lost a loved one in a construction accident, our law firm can help. We’ve been fighting for workers and their families for more than 80 years. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced NYC construction accident attorney.

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