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Struck-by fatalities prevalent in construction work

Louisiana construction workers may be interested to learn that "struck-by" deaths are one of the leading causes of construction work fatalities. From 2011 to 2015, more than 800 construction workers were killed as a result of these accidents.

A struck-by accident occurs when a person is struck by materials during the building of concrete or masonry walls. For example, the accident can occur while the worker is using a machine to lift the heavy slabs into position. An accident can also take place if materials are not shored up properly. It was reported that approximately 52 percent of struck-by fatalities involved being hit with equipment or objects while the remainder were caused by being struck by vehicles. Of these vehicle accidents, 57 percent occurred in work zones.

Due to the sheer number of struck-by accidents and other hazards, the Occupational and Safety Health Administration started the Focus Four Initiative in an effort to prevent construction accidents through training and resources. OSHA used to regularly publish press releases that highlighted what were considered to be the worst safety violations; after President Trump's inauguration, however, these publications have generally stopped.

A workplace accident, such as a struck-by incident, can potentially cause a worker serious injuries that could prevent him or her from working for some time. Not only does this mean that the worker is unable to earn a living, but they will also likely be saddled with expensive medical bills. In most cases, a worker is entitled to certain benefits to help him or her recover from a construction accident that occurs at the worksite. If those benefits are denied or the insurance does not offer enough to cover the associated costs, a workers' compensation attorney may appeal the claim decision or determine if the worker is entitled to additional benefits.

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