Understanding Fall Hazards on Construction Sites
Construction sites are one of the most hazardous places to work. They are so dangerous that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extensive reports on what’s called the “fatal four” — falls, struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in/between. In this article, we will examine in detail the top killer on construction sites: falls. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Do Falls Happen on Construction Sites?
Falls are so prevalent on construction sites that OSHA has dedicated an entire campaign known as the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent fall accidents and deaths from occurring. The following are the most common ways construction workers can have a fatal fall:
Lack of Safety Equipment
When working from heights, construction workers must be provided with safety equipment such as guardrails, safety nets, and harnesses. Any holes on sites should be covered and with visible signs warning workers of a potential fall hazard. Ladders should always be level and secure. Scaffolding should be inspected to ensure it has been appropriately erected, with safety as a top priority.
Lack of Proper Training
OSHA requires all workers on construction sites to be adequately trained on how to perform their jobs and the use of safety equipment. It’s not uncommon for construction workers to speak other languages. When they aren’t provided with directions in their language that they can easily understand, they could be at a higher risk of being involved in a fatal fall accident.
When construction site equipment isn’t maintained correctly or is defective, a fatal fall can result. For example, a ladder that is old and shaky or scaffolding that is in poor condition or defective.
How Many Deaths Occur Each Year on Construction Sites?
According to OSHA statistics, there were 1,008 total deaths on construction sites in 2018. 338 of those deaths were from falls. That’s 33.5% of all construction site total deaths. The following were the top-cited OSHA violations on construction sites in 2019 that could be the catalyst to a fall:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Scaffolding, general requirements
Injured in a Construction Accident? We Can Help.
Not only can construction site injuries cause long-term medical issues, but it can come with financial burdens. Our team of experienced attorneys is ready to help you seek maximum compensation. When negligent parties caused your injury, you’ll need a legal team that isn’t afraid to stand up to insurance companies that make low settlements. We’ll always have your best interest in mind.
Contact Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. today at (888) 499-6206 to schedule your free consultation.