Workplace Fall Prevention Takes Center Stage in May

Workplace falls are a leading cause of death for construction workers. In 2017, 971 construction workers died on the job and 388 of those tragic accidents were in falls, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Thousands more suffered injuries. To bring awareness to the issue of falls in construction, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration is partnering with other safety and construction industry organizations to host the annual National Safety Stand-Down from May 6-10, 2019.

The Safety Stand-Down is an event designed to educate employees in construction and other industries about workplace falls and to talk about how to prevent them.  Participants have included commercial and residential construction companies, contractors, road construction companies, unions, safety equipment manufacturers, trade associations and other private and government employers. During years past, Stand-Downs have been held in all 50 states and internationally and attracted thousands of participants. Some suggested things to do at the event include safety inspections, safety and rescue planning and reviewing job-specific dangers. For more on organizing a Safety Stand-Down, visit OSHA at www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/.

New York’s Poor Fall-Safety Record

In New York, falls are the leading cause of construction worker fatalities. They accounted for 49 percent of construction deaths statewide and 46 percent of fatalities in New York City over the past 10 years, according to a report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. To give some context about approximately how many total construction worker fatalities occur annually in the state, there were 69 deaths in 2017 and 71 reported in 2016.

Falls are Preventable

No one should be dying or suffering serious injuries at work from preventable falls that happen from ladders and scaffolds, from roofs, through floor and roof openings, down stairs and elsewhere. Construction workers shouldn’t have to go to work wondering if they will survive to make it home that day or if they will be injured and unable to feed their families. With the right training, equipment and safety procedures, workers can stay safer. Unfortunately, some employers don’t provide these basic tools to make construction work safer. In other cases, workers themselves cut corners and don’t follow safety procedures, causing accidents that injure themselves or others.

If you are injured in a fall or other construction accident because of a lack of training, a lack of safety equipment or poorly fitting equipment, unsafe conditions, construction sites that are not up to code, and other reasons, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. In some cases, workers’ comp won’t be enough to cover the potentially astronomical costs of medical bills from injuries, lost wages and other damages you may have. Sometimes you can receive additional compensation for your injuries based upon the facts of your accident.

Keep Accident Records

It’s important to keep careful notes when you’ve been injured in a construction accident. Maintain a file with the doctor’s report about your injury, your statement about the accident, eyewitness statements if you have them, union and employer reports, medical expenses, and anything else related to the event. This file will help you in your workers’ comp claim and if you should decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

If you’ve been injured at work or a loved one has been killed, the experienced workplace injury attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC are here to answer your questions. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.