Construction sites are undeniably dangerous places to make a living. If you are among the many people across New York who work in construction, you may have firsthand knowledge of the field’s numerous hazards. While some construction site accidents are likely preventable, others are less so. Construction site falls may land themselves in either category, depending on circumstances.
According to Safety & Health, falls are one of the most substantial hazards you face working in construction, with falls ultimately causing more than 40% of all construction industry deaths. Just how often are today’s construction workers experiencing falls that result in fatalities?
Research regarding construction industry deaths over 33 years revealed that 42% of all construction worker fatalities during that time were the result of falls. In total, 768 construction workers died because of falls during that period. In more than half of all cases, or 54% of them, the workers who died lacked adequate fall protection equipment. In another 23% of cases, meanwhile, the workers who died had access to a personal fall arrest system but were not using it at the times of their deaths.
Research also shows that a surprisingly high number of construction industry deaths that stem from falls involve falls from relatively low heights. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that construction workers utilize fall protection anytime they work 6 feet or more above the ground.
Statistics also indicate that experience may also play a role in just how likely you are to fall on the job. About 20% of all construction workers who died because of falls between 1982 and 2015 were in their first two months of the job. Additionally, statistics show that workers employed by contractors in the roofing, siding or sheet metal sectors were the least likely to use appropriate fall protection when working.
In many cases, deaths are the unfortunate result of construction site falls. Even workers who live through their injuries may find that their lives change permanently in the aftermath of such a fall.