It’s well known that falls are one of the biggest risks in construction. When you look at the four most common causes of fatal accidents, falls top the list. This happens on a consistent basis, year in and year out, so it’s something that all construction workers should be aware of.
One thing that’s interesting to note is that the vast majority of falls have three sources. Roughly 2/3 of all falls – around 66% – come from roofs, scaffolding systems and ladders. If more safety standards were enforced or protection systems were used in these three areas, a dramatic amount of fatal falls could be prevented.
Another thing that is worth noting is that the statistics only account for falls that resulted in fatalities. Safety systems, such as a fall arrest system being used on a roof, could prevent more than just fatal accidents. They could also prevent severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic head injuries.
What other types of falls are there?
There are many other types of falls in the construction industry, and some of them simply happen when workers slip on the stairs, fall from a catwalk or fall from one level of a building to another. For example, construction workers who are framing in a multi-story building may not technically be on a roof or a ladder but could be moving between the rafters or other structural supports when they fall.
Furthermore, some falls don’t even require a person to fall from one level to another. Slipping on a slick surface or tripping over an extension cord could cause someone to have a slip-and-fall accident where their head strikes a hard concrete surface.
No matter how they occur, falls could have a lasting impact on the rest of a worker’s life. Those who have been injured need to know about their legal options.