Falls from Buildings - Consumer Justice Foundation

Falls from Buildings

Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
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Workplace injuries are unfortunately extremely common in the construction industry, with falls accounting for a large percentage of injuries and fatalities. In fact, nearly 1,000 construction workers are killed each year while on the job, and one-third of these fatalities are the result of construction site falls. Because the duties of many construction workers requires them to work on top of large buildings, falls from buildings are not an uncommon occurrence, sometimes caused by unprotected sides, floor holes or wall openings, or other hazards resulting from carelessness or negligence. The safety of workers depends largely on how well employers and supervisors adhere to the federal regulations put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Unfortunately, not all employers put the safety of their employees ahead of their desire to make a profit. If you have suffered from injuries because of a construction site fall, contact a construction accident attorney to discuss your compensation options.

Causes of Falls from Buildings

Because most of the buildings construction workers work on on a daily basis are either being constructed, demolished or have fallen in disrepair, tasks that might otherwise be simple and safe often pose a significant danger to those workers, especially when they are not trained in proper procedures and safety protocol. Some of the most common causes of falls from buildings include:

  • Improper use of portable ladders
  • Unguarded protruding steel rebars
  • Unprotected sides, wall openings and floor holes
  • Improper scaffold construction
  • Failure to use safety harnesses
  • Poor training of workers

Injuries Caused By Falls from Buildings

According to OSHA, falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry each year. Studies have shown that using safety equipment like guardrails, safety nets, fall arrest systems, covers and restraint systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls. Unfortunately, not all construction sites put these safety measures to use, and the results are devastating. Some of the injuries most commonly associated with falls from buildings include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Back injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion

OSHA Regulations for the Prevention of Construction Falls

Because the construction industry poses a number of serious hazards for workers, OSHA has established federal regulations governing safety protocol to avoid construction site accidents like falls from buildings. OSHA recommends that construction employers consider doing the following to prevent construction site falls:

  • Cover floor holes
  • Use safety net systems or body harnesses
  • Consider using aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working surfaces
  • Erect guardrail systems with toeboards and warning lines, or install control line systems to protect workers near the edges of floors and roofs

Contact a Construction Accident Attorney for Help

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and fatality on the construction site, resulting in more than 300 deaths each year. If you were injured in a construction site fall, or if you lost a loved one in a fall from a building at the workplace, contact a construction accident attorney for legal help. You may be entitled to medical benefits or death benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim, and you may also have grounds to file a third-party liability claim if your injuries were caused by a third party not employed by your employer. With the help of a qualified construction accident lawyer, workers injured on the job can protect their legal rights and pursue the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Posted Under: On The Job Injury, Work Related Lawsuits
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