Construction is one of the deadliest industries in the United States. Construction sites have many elements that make them dangerous for both workers and the public. Working from heights, using power tools and operating heavy machinery are just a few examples of the dangers faced at the average construction site. Learn the top causes of serious and fatal accidents in construction to help avoid these disasters.

Lack of Fall Protection

In 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 976 workplace deaths occurred in construction and extraction occupations. This represented 20.5 percent of the 4,764 total worker deaths that were reported in 2020. Sadly, this is not unusual; construction deaths typically account for around 20 percent of all worker deaths in the U.S., or 1 in 5 fatalities.

The majority of serious and fatal injuries at construction sites are fall-related. According to OSHA, the number one most frequently cited safety standard in fiscal year 2021 was “fall protection in construction.” Federal Standard Number 1926.501 states that employers have a duty to provide fall protection systems. The correct system to use depends on the situation, such as the height of the worker and the type of walking or working surfaces. Acceptable fall protection includes personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems and guardrails.

Dangerous Ladders

The second most frequently cited safety standard in construction was the regulation of ladders. Dangerous, defective, broken and old ladders are responsible for many worker falls, injuries and deaths at construction sites each year. The misuse of ladders is also responsible for many worker falls. Employers are required to provide and maintain reasonably safe ladders for use at construction sites. They also have a responsibility to train workers in how to safely and correctly use the ladders, such as how to set them up and carry up loads.

Poorly Constructed Scaffolds

Yet another common cause of fall accidents on construction sites is dangerous scaffolding. Violating the general scaffold requirements was the third most commonly cited safety standard in construction, according to OSHA. Scaffolding refers to the structures that construction workers stand on to reach tall heights on a job. The workers are responsible for correctly building and securing scaffolds and scaffolding building materials. Lack of worker training, hastily constructed scaffolds, lack of scaffold inspections, violated safety regulations or low-quality materials could all lead to deadly fall accidents or dropped materials.

Falling Objects

Being struck by a falling object is another top cause of accidents, injuries and deaths on construction sites. Unsecured tools or materials could fall from scaffolds, or workers and pedestrians could get trapped in collapsing structures. Other struck-by-object incidents involve heavy machinery or equipment, such as a crane collapsing and crushing the workers below.

Exposure to Electrical Hazards

Construction sites often contain many electrical hazards, such as exposed wires and live powerlines. Workers could suffer electric shocks, electrical burns and electrocutions if the electrical hazard is not properly marked or communicated on the job. A construction worker may unknowingly drive a crane into a live electrical wire, for example, if he or she is not made aware of this electrified power source on the job site.

Missing Machine Guarding

According to data from OSHA, the “Focus Four” in construction – the top four causes of worker deaths in this industry – are falls, struck-by falling objects, electrocutions, and caught in or between objects or equipment. Missing machine guarding is one of the top causes of the last construction site hazard on the Focus Four list.

If a piece of equipment or machinery is missing its safety guard, a worker could be pulled into the machine. This could lead to catastrophic injuries such as a limb getting crushed or amputated. Proper machine maintenance and adequate worker training can help prevent these disasters.

Injured at a Construction Site? We Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at a construction site in West Virginia, you may be eligible for financial compensation as a worker or member of the public. Contact our West Virginia construction accident attorneys at Manchin Injury Law Group to discuss your case for free.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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