Family and Friends Honor Dead Construction Worker

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Family and friends of Wayne Self want him to be remembered as more than just the “missing construction worker.”

Self, 52, was killed in a construction accident while crews were working on the Sky Train guideway system at Sky Harbor International Airport. His friends and family want him to be remembered as “a hell of a good man.”

It took several days for rescue crews to finally locate Self’s body following the accident. Self was trapped beneath a drilling rig that collapsed.

“He wasn’t just a nobody,” said Greg Self, Wayne’s brother.

“He liked to hunt and fish. We’d go out to the wilderness out all the time,” he continued. “Just an outgoing person all the time. Every weekend we go out buggying. He was just full of life.”

Self leaves behind five children, grandchildren, and a fiancée.

“Wayne never put himself in a predicament like that,” said Jay Darrow, Self’s best friend. “If it wasn’t right, he wouldn’t have put himself in that spot.”

“It was just a freak accident, basically what happened,” said Darrow.

Construction work is a dangerous business, regardless of if it’s a small project for an individual homeowner or for a major commercial development. The conditions that construction workers face are extremely dangerous because of the nature of how buildings are constructed and need to be repaired. While regulations, specifications, inspection requirements, and job safety programs all help to prevent construction site accidents and promote safety awareness, accidents still happen.

“Fatal Four”

Viewpoint, a construction software program, decided to take a look at the construction industry’s safety statistics over the past decade. After looking through years of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA, they concluded that there were four fatal injuries that contributed to 57 percent of the fatalities in the construction industry. These were:

Falls - these attributed for 36% of that 57%

Being caught between objects - these attributed for 2% of that 57%

Electrocutions - these attributed for 9% of that 57%

Being struck by objects - these attributed for 10% of that 57%

While these were the main four that contributed to construction accident fatalities, there are numerous other hazards that construction workers face every day.


Hazards faced by construction workers include: falls from scaffolding and other elevations, being struck by moving or falling machinery, electrocution, exposure to asbestos and chemicals, injuries caused by defective or unsafe equipment, lifting and repetitive motion injuries. To ensure safety, the construction worker and company or property he or she is working for must be compliant with occupational and site safety standards and regulations. If not, an accident can occur.

Liability in** Construction Site Injuries**

Assigning liability in construction site accidents can be difficult and depends on the size and sophistication of the construction project. Many individuals are involved at a construction site; the site’s landowner, design and engineering professionals, prime and sub contractors, construction managers, in addition to equipment and material suppliers. Typically construction projects are based on general contract relationships. This is when a site owner works with a general contractor and enters into agreements with sub-contractors as required. Larger construction projects are usually handled by “construction management” organizations.

When an injury occurs on a construction site, the type of system organization matters greatly when assessing liability. Because larger construction sites require many things to be delegated from site own to general contractor and from general contractor to prime or sub contractions, the site owner can be many levels removed from the company that is actually doing the work. It has to be determined how much a site owner has control over when it comes to the actual construction work.

The duties and legal responsibilities of everyone involved need to be assessed.  Here is a closer look at the various roles of a construction site.

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