Dallas Law Firm Blog

Nearly Half of All Construction Deaths are Fall-Related

A newly created database allowed researchers last month to determine that over 33 years, almost 50% of construction worker fatalities were caused by falls. Plus, more than 50% of workers who died did not have access to fall protection, according to a report from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).

Compiling data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program, researchers found 768 construction-site fatalities and then devised a searchable database called the Construction FACE Database.

Following an analysis of the construction-site fall data, researchers determined the following from 1982-2015:

  • 42% of construction-site deaths were falls (325).
  • 54% of the employees killed did not have access to proper safety equipment, such as a personal fall arrest system (PFAS).
  • 23% had access to such safety equipment but were not using it.
  • Most employees without access to PFAS were employed by residential building contractors, as well as roofing, siding and sheet metal contractors.
  • Hispanic and immigrant workers were at especially higher risk for fatal roof falls.
  • 107 of the 325 falls were from more than 30 feet.
  • 20% of the 768 fatalities happened in the worker’s first two months on the job.

The researchers reported the study could not assess the level of effectiveness of the OSHA fall protection standard set up in 1995. But the high number of fatal falls from lower heights suggests the need for an OSHA requirement that fall protection equipment be offered by employers for elevations of six feet or higher.

Construction Site Accidents and Personal Injury/Death

There is no question that construction sites are dangerous places where falls are all too common. Other data reveals that, from 2008 to 2010, there were 579 fatal falls in the construction industry. In the same period, the annual rate of fatal falls in construction was 3.2 per 100,000 FTE (full time equivalent workers). But the risk for electrical power line installers was nine times higher than the relatively high rate in construction.

Unfortunately, construction sites are common locations of serious and sometimes fatal accidents. OSHA has identified the following other major causes of serious construction accidents, besides falls:

  • Trench collapse: When a work trench collapses, the air supply for the worker can be suddenly cut off. This type of accident can cause workers to be buried alive or to suffer fatal crushing injuries.
  • Collapsed scaffolding: OSHA has passed strict rules that ensure the stability and safety of scaffolding, but accidents still happen. Fatal falls occur regularly every year.
  • Electric shock: People working with generators, power tools, machines and electrical wiring are at risk of burns and electrocution.
  • Not using appropriate protective equipment: Personal protective equipment is essential on the job site, including fall protection equipment, hardhats, and safety glasses. If the employer has not properly trained the workers in the use of this equipment, it could be legally liable in a lawsuit.

If you lose a loved one to a construction site fall or other type of accident, you may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship and pain and suffering. Far too many construction companies fail to take necessary safety precautions on the job site, such as failing to provide essential safety training to new construction workers. Our wrongful death personal injury attorneys can help you.

Was Your Loved One Killed in a Construction Accident? Contact Guajardo & Marks Today.

At Guajardo & Marks, our personal injury attorneys understand that losing a loved one in a construction fall or other accident is personally, emotionally and financially devastating. If your loved one was killed on the job, you may face serious financial problems on top of your personal loss. Please contact our Dallas personal injury law office today at 972-774-9800 for a complimentary consultation about your possible wrongful death case.