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Construction Accidents Leading Cause of Fatalities in Michigan

March 16th, 2022

Construction accidents continue to be one of the most frequent types of accidents for Michigan workers and for workers across the nation because safety rules have not protected them. Construction workers in the building trades are frequent victims of on-the-job injuries and serious accidents. Why? Far too often, required safety rules are not in place. As a result thousands of construction workers are killed or injured each year.

In Michigan alone the construction industry led all others with the highest number (30) of fatal work accidents in 2008, according to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). MIOSHA reports that the leading hazards faced by construction workers are associated with:

· Cave-ins

· Underground utilities

· Heavy Machinery

· Manual handling materials

· Working close to moving traffic

· Electrical hazards, such as overhead power lines

MIOSHA reports that in 1994 alone some 19 Michigan workers were killed in trench collapse accidents.

In my practice the common construction accidents causing on-the-job injuries, fatalities, or leading to workers comp involve falls from ladders and scaffolding, front end loaders, electrocutions, vehicle back overs, gas line explosions, failed machinery, cave-ins, and road construction workers hit by passing vehicles. Workers injured include carpenters, roofers, dry wallers, pipe layers, operating engineers, rod busters, cement finishers, cement pavers, and laborers.

A construction worker injured on the job, in most instances, can sue the employer for work-related injuries. A third party can be shown to be liable for negligence when an injury occurs on the job site. While some workers are prevented or limited by law from collecting workman’s compensation for their injuries, many workers are able to recover damages from parties other than their employers or co-workers, especially when subcontractors are involved. Sometimes owners, architects, contractors and equipment manufacturers can be held liable for damages for construction accidents. Usually, though, the liable person is the general contractor, contractor or owner.

Manufacturers of construction equipment are responsible for designing and maintaining safe products. Defective or dangerous products may be at fault in a construction accident. With all of the equipment used on a construction site, the chance for injury is great, but if the proper safety measures are not employed in the making of this equipment, the chances of an injury or a death occurring increase greatly.

The manufacturers on this equipment can be found liable when an accident occurs due to one of their products. Equipment used on a construction site includes scaffolding, cranes, power tools, derricks, hoists, conveyors, woodworking tools, ladders, winches, trucks, graters, scrapers, tractors, bulldozers, forklifts, back hoes, heavy equipment, boilers, pressure vessels, and gas detectors.