Injuries and Prevention in Construction Accident Falls
Year after year, construction site falls continue to be the most consistent cause for injuries and fatalities among construction workers. In a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010, falls from ladders accounted for 20% of all fall-related injuries. Falls from roofs were the next most common, responsible for 18% of fall-related injuries.
With ladder falls being the highest percentage of fall-related injuries, it is vital in preventing falls at a construction site to maintain proper ladder maintenance and safety.
The top three ways to prevent ladder falls and increase safety:
- Inspect the ladder: Check for defects which may indicate structural damage. For example, damaged or missing rungs, damaged or split side rails, and the absence of safety devices.
- Clean the ladder: Dirt, mud, or paint could increase the chances of slipping or disguise the ladder’s deficiencies.
- Use the right ladder: Check the length of the ladder to make sure it can hold the weight needed to complete the job.
Additionally, the shocking fact about most all construction accident falls is that they may have been easily preventable.
Four ways to prevent construction accident falls by utilizing personal fall arrest equipment:
- Body harnesses: Vest-like gear that attaches to vertical and horizontal lifelines.
- Lifelines: Also called webbing, lifelines can be vertical or horizontal, and attach to the worker’s harness to limit free fall distance in an accident.
- Guardrails: Like scaffolding, guardrails are set up to prevent objects from slipping through slats and falling to lower levels.
- Safety nets: Safety nets should always be used when workers are more than 25 feet above the ground.
How to Handle Injuries in a Construction Accident Fall
The most important thing to do if you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident fall is to act fast. You must be treated by a doctor approved by your employer to treat injured workers and report your injuries to your supervisor as soon as possible.
Any construction worker injured from a fall may be eligible to receive compensation through Workers’ Compensation Insurance. The law does not require that the accidental fall be a result of negligence on the part of your employer or coworkers for you to receive compensation. After you receive medical care is when you can submit a Workers’ Compensation claim. Unfortunately, disagreements over Workers’ Compensation can often arise, and workers may require legal assistance to file their claim.
If a third party who is not your employer or is separate from your employer caused the injury, you also have the right to file a claim against that person or company. Third party action will give you the opportunity to recover expenses associated with pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.
In some cases, where negligence is apparent in the part of the employer or contractor, workers injured from construction accident falls may be entitled to significant compensation.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed as a result of a construction site fall, you may be eligible for damages. Contact the experts at the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts to see if you have a personal injury case. If we decide to take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.