Fatal Construction Falls in NYC Continue to Claim Lives

Construction workers suffer more fatal injuries than any other private sector industry. In fact, the CDC reports that construction workers are fatally injured at nearly three times the average rate for all United States workers.

Falls from heights on the construction site are the leading cause of death among construction workers, accounting for more than one third of all fatal injuries in the industry. In addition, more than one in five nonfatal injuries suffered on the job by construction workers is the result of a fall.

Common Construction Fall Hazards

According to OSHA, common causes of construction fall injuries include:

  • Falls from roofs
  • Unprotected floor or wall openings
  • Poorly constructed scaffolding
  • Improper use of portable ladders

Sadly, even though most construction fall injuries could be avoided through the use of widely available prevention measures, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that fatal falls have been on the rise in recent years. In many cases, such falls are the result of safety violations on the construction site.

The construction-fall problem is particularly prevalent in New York City, as much of the City's construction involves tall buildings and extreme heights. Because of this, supervisors on NYC jobsites must be especially diligent in following all safety standards prescribed by New York Labor Law.

Trouble from Above

Falling objects present another major hazard for construction workers, particularly for those working beneath cranes or scaffolding. Similarly, flying objects are a danger to anyone working near power tools that can cause objects to become airborne. Flying and falling objects can cause a variety of injuries, including concussions, blindness and death.

The CDC reports that overall fatal construction injuries peaked in 2006 and have been in decline for the last several years. Unfortunately, experts believe that this trend has been largely a result of the economic downturn and not a sign of major safety improvements in the industry. With overall construction down in recent years, fewer hours have been worked and thus fewer injuries have occurred.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a construction-site fall from heights, you should contact an experienced NY personal injury attorney. A reputable lawyer will conduct an independent investigation and ensure that your family receives all compensation you are entitled to.