The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports construction site falls are the No. 1 cause of death in construction. In 2013, there were nearly 300 fatal falls to a lower level, which more than 36 percent of the total 830 construction site fatalities nationally.
OSHA instructs supervisors to properly plan to get the job done safely, ensure workers have the right equipment for the job and make certain employees are properly trained for the work they are assigned.
This are simple, common sense directives. And yet, it seems construction accident falls are an almost daily – or every other day occurrence. Just take a snapshot of recent news items so far this summer:
- On June 2nd, a construction worker in Hartford, CT reportedly suffered serious injuries after a scaffolding collapse at a construction site on a hospital campus that resulted in a 40-foot fall.
- In Kansas, a 58-year-old construction worker was killed on June 3rd after falling more than three stories from an apartment complex that was under construction. He was reportedly climbing scaffolding to begin exterior work on the building.
- On June 15th, a Texas construction worker in San Antonio was killed after falling from an under-construction bridge over a highway interchange. He’d been on the job less than a year.
- A construction worker in Iowa was hospitalized June 21st after falling through the roof of a former bread bakery building while he and other workers were removing vents from the roof. He was reportedly conscious but dazed and had suffered a serious arm injury.
- A worker in Houston, TX on June 22nd fell down an elevator shaft and reportedly suffered a broken leg.
- A 23-year-old construction worker in New Jersey was electrocuted before falling 25 feet off scaffolding on June 23rd. The scaffold apparently struck a high-voltage power line. The man was stabilized by emergency workers before being airlifted to a hospital with a unit specializing in burn treatment.
- On June 24th, a construction worker in Atlanta, GA was rescued after he reportedly became trapped after falling 20 feet into a manhole while his crew was performing underground utility work. His fellow crew members immediately installed ventilation and air monitoring devices before emergency crews arrived. He spent an hour in the hole before he was pulled out and hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
OSHA reports that a fall of just six feet has the potential to be deadly.
Our Asheville workers’ compensation lawyers know that often, these incidents stem from some breach in federal guidelines and industry safety protocol. OSHA reports that most frequently, these injuries stem from unstable working surfaces, ladders that aren’t safely positioned or misuse of fall protection.
With construction site injuries, it’s important not only to claim workers’ compensation, but also to explore whether a third-party liability lawsuit is an option. The management structure of construction sites is such that property owners, general contractors and other subcontractors could be separately liable for a construction worker’s injuries.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
Welcome to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign, U.S. Department of Labor
More Blog Entries:
OSHA Fines $45,000 for Fatal Trench Collapse Accident, June 21, 2016, Asheville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer