A review of data compiled by NYCOSH (New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health) shows that out of all the fatal construction accidents in New York last year, half were slip and fall accidents. That means that falls from heights equaled all the other fatalities combined.
Popular conception of a fatal slip and fall accident in New York is of a worker falling multiple stories to their death. While there have been several high profile falls that fit that description, in actuality shorter falls are not only more common, they also cause many more fatalities. For instance, OSHA data shows that out of the 22 construction workers killed by falls at job sites in New York City last year, seven died from fatal falls at the same level while five died in falls less than six feet.
While eleven workers were killed in falls from roofs, it’s important to illustrate that the majority of the slip and fall accidents at New York construction sites last year involved ladders and scaffolding. (There were a total of eleven fatal falls from ladders and five from scaffolding or staging.) That’s one of the reasons that NYCOSH recommends keeping New York City’s controversial scaffolding law on the books.
Sadly, NYCOSH concluded that the majority of these fatal slip and fall accidents could have been prevented through the proper use of safety equipment and regular inspection of the construction site. A correlation of fatalities to OSHA violations showed that the majority of construction sites involved in fatal accidents last year had at least one open OSHA violation listed at the time. And most of those violations were “fall prevention” violations. The report’s authors concluded that “The high injury and fatality rates from falls-from-an-elevation are one consequence of the widespread failure to observe these requirements.”
If you or a loved one has been injured, crippled or killed, due to fall at the construction site, contact a New York City construction accident attorney today to discuss your case. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.