When a business faces a deadly problem, common sense says that it would quickly find a way to keep its workers safe. However, the construction industry has not yet achieved this feat.
Falling from ladders, scaffolding or roofs can cause serious injuries for construction workers. In many cases, a falling accident could prove fatal. Despite these high stakes, falling accidents have remained the leading cause of construction-related fatalities throughout the years.
Falling fatalities: then and now
Data from a 1995 report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that accidental falling, which was the top cause of construction death, robbed 273 workers of their lives. The most recent OSHA data — from 2016 — also acknowledges falling as the main cause of fatal accidents, having led to 384 deaths.
That means that from 1995 to 2016, fatalities resulting from falls on construction sites have actually increased by 8.7 percent. Although safety laws and workers’ rights have evolved in the last few decades, workers still face an extreme danger of being injured as the result of a fall.
What are construction employers doing to help?
Each company may approach the subject of safety differently, but the number of OSHA-issued citations suggests that many employers are not providing sufficient protection. The most common violation of 2017 was inadequate fall protection. Unsafe scaffolding, ladders and anti-fall training also made the list.
Some falling accidents could, in fact, directly stem from an employer’s negligence. Failure to fully train employees, reckless cost-cutting or a contractor’s mistake may all surface in a workers’ compensation lawsuit after a fall.
These accidents are serious, which is why construction workers and their families can take legal action with their attorney.