The recent death of a construction worker who fell off the roof of an elementary school where he was working was a stark reminder of the risks construction workers face in their daily line of work. The 39-year old Point Pleasant man fell 30 feet from the roof of the school to his death. Police and emergency medical workers tried to revive the injured man, but he succumbed to his injuries as pronounced by a nearby hospital. The job site was closed following the construction accident pending a full investigation by OSHA officials.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., claiming the lives of almost 1,000 workers each year. Falls remain the leading cause of death for construction workers nationwide accounting for nearly one-third of all construction accident fatalities.
Falls in Construction
Deaths resulting from fall accidents in the construction industry rose 36.4 percent from 2011 to 2015 with a total of 367 construction workers fatally injured in fall accidents alone. The construction industry ranks first in the nation for fall injury deaths. Deaths resulting from falls are six times greater for construction workers than manufacturing workers, which has the second highest number of fall related deaths in the country.
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reports that more than half of all fall deaths involve construction workers falling from heights of 20 feet or less. One-quarter of fall deaths occur from 15 feet or less. Nearly three-quarters of all fall deaths happen as workers plummet from rooftops, ladders, and scaffolding.
OSHA Fall Prevention Campaign
In an effort to reduce the staggering number of fall deaths in the construction industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have established a fall prevention campaign aimed at raising awareness to fall risks in the workplace. Since 2012, the campaign has worked to educate workers and employers on prevention measures that can greatly reduce the risk of serious and fatal fall accidents.
The campaign encourages employers and contractors to carefully plan out construction projects, focusing not only on what tasks need to be completed, but also on what safety equipment and training are necessary to protect workers. Any employee working six feet or more above ground level is at serious risk from fall related injuries and death. Ladders, lifts, and scaffolding need to be in good working order and inspected regularly. Fall protection equipment should be on site and provided for each worker. Proper training is essential in the use of this equipment and in safety precautions that can prevent fall accidents.
New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Construction Workers Injured in Fall AccidentsSerious and often fatal accidents result from falls at construction sites. If you or someone you know has been injured in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey and proudly serve clients throughout the state.