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Construction industry sees uptick in elevator-related fatalities

Working in the construction industry is inherently risky, with the nature of your job exposing you to numerous potential health and injury hazards every day. While fall risks, in particular, are highly common in your line of work, the number of construction workers losing their lives in falls involving elevators is on the rise.

According to Construction Dive, the death rate among construction workers who died in accidents involving elevators doubled between 2003 and 2016. Also, the majority, or 53%, of construction workers who died in elevator-related incidents lost their lives in falls, and often because they fell into elevator shafts. Nearly half of all construction worker fatalities that resulted from elevator falls also claimed the lives of those who fell more than 30 feet.

Increased fatality risks for younger workers

Research suggests that experience may go a long way in preventing elevator accidents on construction sites. Construction workers who are statistically the most likely to die in incidents involving elevators are under 35 years old. Construction workers who are above 55, meanwhile, are statistically the least likely to succumb to injuries sustained in elevator-related workplace accidents.

Other elevator-related hazards

While many workers involved in elevator accidents on construction sites wind up losing their lives, others suffer serious injuries in these events. Between 2003 and 2016, construction workers reported 1,800 elevator-related injuries, many of which involved electrocutions. As was the case with elevator fatalities, younger construction workers were statistically more likely to suffer elevator-related injuries than their older colleagues. Regardless of a construction worker’s age, the average recovery time following an elevator-related work injury is about 31 days.

Many elevator accidents that occur on construction sites are preventable. Your employer needs to ensure to properly train you and everyone else employed at your place of business about elevator safety. You and your coworkers, in turn, need to take reasonable safety measures to protect one another on the job site.

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