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Falls leading cause of fatal injuries for construction workers

In 2013, 20.2 percent of the 4,101 worker fatalities in private industry occurred in construction, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In Philadelphia and on sites everywhere in the U.S., falls took the lead in 2013 for construction worker deaths, accounting for 36.5 percent, or 302, of the total number of fatalities in the industry.

Catastrophic falls happen under a broad variety of conditions. A fall from an elevated work station, from an overhead platform, or through a wall or the floor can result in debilitating injury, as well as death. Slippery surfaces, unprotected edges, a ladder fall, and poor-quality equipment may all contribute to serious injury. OSHA sets the following standard for fall protection on construction sites:

  •        Protection in place at six feet above ground
  •        Protection in place over hazardous machinery, no matter the distance of a potential fall
  •        Floors cleared of debris, and as dry as conditions allow

Employers have a responsibility to prevent injury from falls at their work sites by providing as safe an environment as possible. Workers should be supplied with the necessary tools and equipment to protect themselves from harm. Employers need to communicate potential hazards so that everyone understands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that better, more consistent education for workers and employers in the construction industry is key to reducing injuries from falls at work. According to the CDC, the steady high number of yearly workplace falls can be blamed largely on dangerous conditions, unsafe practices, and a disregard for the subject of safety in general.

If you or a loved one was hurt due to a workplace fall, contact Friday & Cox LLC for a free case consultation. 

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