Injuryboard attorney Thomas J, Methvin recently blogged on the topic of fall hazards at residential construction sites. Without question this is one of the greatest safety concerns present on a jobsite and one of the leading causes of death or disabling injury in the workplace.
In 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 1,224 construction workers died on the job, with 36 percent of those fatalities resulting from falls. Events surrounding these types of accidents often involve a number of factors, including unstable working surfaces, misuse of fall protection equipment, and human error. Studies have shown that the use of guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers, and travel restriction systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls.
What is certain is that when a worker is involved in a fall on a jobsite it leads to almost certain disaster. We have handled a number of fall cases for our clients including, defective scaffolding cases, cell tower fall cases, bucket truck and tanker truck fall cases, ladder fall cases and even an unguarded elevator shaft fall case. In each of these instances, the injuries to our clients resulted in serious and debilitating injury including traumatic brain injury or wrongful death.
Workplace falls can be reduced or virtually eliminated when proper safety precautions are undertaken. Training, instruction, inspection, warning, safety equipment and enforcement are all necessary elements of a successful safety program. Absent these protocols, any employer requiring its employees to work at heights in the workplace is placing them at certain risk.