Working in construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Although construction workers only represent 7 percent of all employees, 17 percent of workplace fatalities occur in this industry. Falls, particularly falls from one surface to a lower level, are the primary cause of construction site fatalities and the secondary cause for serious injury. Construction workers suffer serious brain traumas and other injuries after falling — and many of these accidents are preventable.
In an effort to reduce these numbers, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) launched the Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction in 2012. There are three main steps that management and workers can take:
- Plan each step of the job with safety measures in mind
- Provide the right equipment, including scaffolding, ladders and personal protection gear
- Train everyone on the site in the proper use of equipment and standard safety protocols
NIOSH encourages all workers to be proactive in making sure that proper safety measures are being implemented at their construction site, but often it is management that makes the decision to cut corners or rush a job. A construction worker may not realize that scaffolding was installed incorrectly until he takes a step and lands 15 feet below.
Construction site injuries are typically covered by workers compensation, but if negligence on the part of the managing company, equipment provider or other third parties caused the accident, you may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against them. Talk to Bell & Pollock, P.C. about your legal rights and options if you have been injured in a construction site accident.