Tragedy struck a Southeast Austin work site after a construction accident on August 9, 2017. In the morning hours, a concrete slab fell on a worker, pinning him. The slab weighed somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 pounds. Emergency responders were initially unable to get to him, as the slab leaned against a tractor-trailer beneath a crane. Firefighters worked to break up the slab with sledgehammers, drills and other tools. But by the time they got to the man, he was dead.
The workers intended to use the concrete slab in the construction of a parking garage. The construction company alongside other companies working on the site are cooperating with investigators to determine the cause of the slab’s collapse.
Construction Accident Statistics
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is investigating the incident, more than 4,500 workers die on the job every year. In Texas, from January 12 to April 27, more than 70 workers died in Texas. In January, a construction worker died off Pearson Road because of his own backhoe. Last August, a construction worker in Lockhart died after the trench he was working in collapsed.
Construction fatalities are often caused by what are known as the “Fatal Four.”
- Falls, which make up the majority of construction deaths
- Struck by object
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that, based on 2015 statistics, eliminating the Fatal Four would save over 600 construction worker lives every year.