It is well documented that construction accidents, including fatalities, occur. But if someone told you that the United States, with all its resources, was among the highest in the world, would you believe it? It’s true. Shocking, yes, but, true nonetheless.
The United States ranks third among industrialized countries in construction fatalities per 100,000 workers. Third! And jobsite falls continue to be the greatest cause of injuries and fatalities for construction workers, making up more than one-third of the recorded fatalities in 2012 and 2013, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training.
Construction accidents involving falls from heights are obviously very dangerous. Falls can occur under simple circumstances such as when a worker climbs a ladder. They also happen in more complex settings such as ironworkers working 80 feet off the ground. Causes of construction falls include unstable or unsafe work surfaces, unprotected edges, unsafe floor openings, ladder and scaffold failures and the failure to provide or properly use fall protection devices. Far too often, construction site falls are avoidable.
A concerted effort between developers, contractors and workers to reduce falls will make a difference. A focus on planning before the work has begun, providing the proper equipment and ensuring that all workers are appropriately trained will go along way towards reducing the number of construction falls and fatalities, according to OSHA.
The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a long and proud tradition of helping injured workers. They have recovered over $700,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for seriously injured victims and have the largest number of lawyers appointed to the New York State Trial Lawyers Association Labor Law Committee. This group fights to protect the rights of construction workers. “We see far too many workers that come into our office after a construction accident that are not provided basic safety devices so they can go home to their families safely after putting in a hard days work,” says firm partner Stephen J. Murphy.
Source: Builder, “Preventing Fatalities on the Jobsite,” Jul. 24, 2013.
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