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Common Construction Accidents: Falls

Construction sites in New York City can be very dangerous places to work and some worksites are prone to accidents. Despite the increased focus on construction safety in recent years, the number of accidents taking place is still concerning. According to the Department of Buildings Safety Report, in 2021 there were over 500 injuries reported and 9 fatalities in New York City. This number may seem low given the thousands of construction workers on the job. But keep in mind that these are only injuries that were bad enough to actually be reported. Many construction injuries that are considered “minor” go unreported because construction workers often don’t know their rights under the law and they also fear retribution from their employers.

There are many types of construction accidents. Construction workers in all industries are used to cuts and bruises and most feel that it’s just part of the job. There are however accidents that are more serious. These accidents are known as the “fatal four” by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The most common type of fatal construction accident occurs from falls. Following is information on construction falls, published examples of injuries, preventive measures, and what you can do if you have been injured in a construction accident.

Falls on a Construction Site

Injuries from falling accidents are unfortunately the most common construction accident. They usually occur when a worker falls from a ladder, scaffolding or some other height. Most of such accidents on construction sites are due to improper mounting and dismounting from equipment, uneven surfaces, improper ladder use, or non-usage of fall protection equipment. OSHA defines a fall hazard is anything at your worksite that could cause you to lose your balance or lose bodily support and result in a fall. Any walking or working surface can be a potential fall hazard.

The severity of the injury depends on the how far the worker was from the ground when they fell and the position they were in when they made impact. These impacts can be life-threatening events that lead to severe injuries, permanent disabilities or even death. There are many examples published in the media and by OSHA itself to bring attention to these tragic events and to try to prevent them.

Published Examples of Falling Incidents from OSHA:

  • A makeshift scaffold collapsed under the weight of four workers and their equipment, seriously injuring all four
  • A worker carrying a sheet of plywood on a flat roof stepped into a skylight opening and fell to the level below
  • A roofer, while attempting to remove a roof opening cover, fell approximately 21 feet to the concrete floor below and was killed
  • A construction worker was working from a carpenters’ wall bracket scaffold without fall protection. The worker fell 19 feet to the ground, sustained blunt trauma to the head and later died

In some cases, the injuries from falls are due to unsafe conditions on the site. But in other cases, it is the misuse or lack of use of safety equipment. There are some steps that workers can take to help prevent falling injuries from occurring.

Preventive measures:

  • Keep your work areas clean and decluttered
  • Wear shoes with adequate traction
  • Train your workers about safety regulations
  • Use appropriate fall protection equipment

Dealing with a construction site accident is emotionally exhausting and taking care of legal matters at the same time can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable construction lawyer as soon as possible. A good professional construction attorney can help you and your family determine the value of your claims by pointing out losses and ensuring maximum settlement amounts for your injuries and financial damages. An experienced construction accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer can ensure your best interests are taken care of.

Look no further than The Rimland Law Firm if you are looking for a well-experienced personal injury lawyer. We strive to surpass your expectations and help you secure the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. Our areas of expertise include accidents associated with construction, motor vehicles, traumatic brain injury, trip and fall, premises liability, police brutality, and other misconduct and medical malpractice. 

If you or your loved one was hurt in a workplace construction accident, it is essential to know that you might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Don’t decide to do this alone until you consult with an experienced construction accident attorney.

For a free consultation, call Rimland Law at (212) 374-0680 or send your concerns on our contact form.

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