Risks to Minnesota construction workers

Construction workers face some of the riskiest work environments every day. Learn some of the common injuries and accidents and how to get help.

Employees who work on construction job sites in Mound, Minnesota must deal with extremely serious risks every day. The combination of working at great heights, with heavy machinery and more create a potentially deadly work environment. Safety standards are in place and governed by laws but accidents can and do still occur. When this happens, injured workers deserve to know what their rights are and how they can get help.

It can also be important for construction workers and their family members to have a good understanding of the risks that they face. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines the four most common causes of fatal accidents on construction job sites as electrocutions; entrapment; being struck by an object or falls, slips and trips. According to OSHA records, 18 percent of all deaths in private sector work accidents occur in the construction industry and these four causes are commonly involved factors in those deaths.

What help is available to workers and their family members?

The state's system of workers' compensation is available to help people injured in jobsite accidents. There are various types of benefits that can be paid depending upon the nature and the severity of the situation. Benefits may also be available to surviving family members in the event that death occurs.

How serious are construction accidents in Minnesota?

The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70 people were the victims of fatal work accidents in Minnesota in 2012. Of those, 13 were construction workers. Six of the construction worker deaths were attributed to slips, falls or trips-one of the four most common causes of such fatalities for the construction industry.

The media frequently provides reports about serious construction accidents such as the one detailed by MPRnews.org in which a construction employee lost his life when he was crushed by a falling piece of concrete slab in the downtown area of St. Paul. The worker was a backhoe operator involved in the demolition phase of a project.

ISHN.com described another situation in Maplewood in which a crane tipped over when the operator was in the process of moving a beam. The man died at the hospital and an OSHA investigation was prompted in this case.

What should workers or their family members do?

Construction workers and their loved ones should always be ready to take action in the wake of an accident. Regardless of the severity, compensation may be available and seeking legal help to file for workers' compensation is recommended.

Keywords: construction, accident, injury