Californians who work in construction understand the risks they face as a natural byproduct of the work. They are required to work at significant heights, use heavy tools with sharp edges, trust other workers using vehicles and equipment and place themselves in harm’s way every day. However, employers are obligated to have as safe a working environment as possible and, as new information shows, one of the biggest dangers – falls – has yet to be taken as seriously as it should.
In a new report, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says that workers falling from heights is still the biggest reason for worker death in construction. 42 percent of fatalities from 1982 to 2015 were due to falls. More than half did not have a personal arrest system. 20 percent of the deaths came about when the worker was in their first two months on the job. More recent information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that falls will remain the most common reason for workplace death in 2017 and 2018.
Currently, the statistics show there were 1,623 occupational fatalities in the U.S. and 566 of them were due to falls. That comes to around 35 percent. The most common reason for an OSHA citation was because of violations related to fall protection. This indicates that employers are not taking falls and fall protection as seriously as they should and there has been a failure in finding viable solutions. Since falls from great heights are so deadly, this is the most prominent danger for construction employees.
Falls from as little as six feet can cause a fatality depending on how the person landed. Head injuries, spinal injuries and neck injuries can cause immediate death. If it is 30 feet or more, the chance of survival is troublingly low. Falls are not the most common cause of injury on a construction site even if it is the most common cause of death. Employers are encouraged to have various safety procedures in place for workers who are stationed at heights. However, until these practices become widespread, accidents will happen and workers will die as a result.
People whose loved ones are employed in construction understand the risks. Still, they are not thinking they will get a knock at the door telling them of a fatal fall. Unfortunately, it happens too often. For people who have been injured in workplace accidents or lost a loved one in a fall, having legal assistance to get compensation is beneficial. A law firm that understands workplace injuries and fatalities can help with a case.