The construction industry has long been known as a crucial part of growing cities and small towns alike, but not one that comes without its fair share of risks. Construction companies across Kentucky supply vital components to the state’s roadways, city centers, schools and other institutions; it is unfortunate that those who provide protection and safety for civilians are often the very ones who suffer injuries themselves.
Early this year, the Lexington Herald Leader reported on the tragic accident of a construction worker
who fell from a roof on the University of Kentucky’s campus. The man, employee of Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal in Lexington, had been a subcontractor for Messer Construction of Cincinnati. The worker died of various blunt force injuries from falling 30 feet from the roof. The UK police chief disclosed that the man had not been wearing a safety harness, but that the incident was under investigation.
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the organization that investigated the aforementioned case, is quick to point out that construction injuries made up 21.4 percent of the 4,379 fatal workplace injuries in 2015. This alarming percentage provides further evidence that the issue is deserving of scrutiny. OSHA mentions “the Fatal Four” causes of construction deaths as falls, injuries from various objects, electrocutions and “caught in between” (workers who are trapped or compressed by equipment or objects). By highlighting these four most common causes of fatal accidents in the industry, OSHA hopes to help eliminate this shocking statistic and educate workers about the possible risks that surround them during each shift. The administration claims that, in doing so, they could assist in saving 602 workers’ lives in America each year.