It’s no secret that construction is one of the most dangerous industries in America. There are many hazardous factors that may be present at construction sites, including heavy machinery, materials such as silica dust or asbestos, and working high above the ground or below the ground in trenches.
However, among all of these hazards, falls are the type of accident that causes the most fatalities involving construction workers, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 350 fall deaths, OSHA reports.
OSHA maintains that there are three main ways that construction companies can help prevent serious and fatal fall injuries, and they involve planning ahead, providing the right fall equipment and training workers on using the safety equipment.
More specifically, OSHA advises construction employers to:
- Plan ahead for all fall-safety precautions that will need to be taken before starting a new construction job and when estimating the cost.
- Provide workers with the right equipment and protection for the type of job they are doing, which may include safety gear such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) — with harnesses for each worker — as well as the proper type of ladders and scaffolds.
- Make sure that all workers are trained on the kinds of hazards that exist and how to effectively use safety equipment to prevent injury.
Unfortunately, not all construction businesses take the advice of OSHA and many do not put their workers’ safety first. Therefore, construction accidents are extremely common in New York City and elsewhere.
After one of these accidents, a lawyer can advise the construction worker or his or her family members on how to proceed. Sometimes monetary compensation is available to cover medical bills and other expenses relating to the accident.