Despite stricter safety regulations and precautions, falls remain a leading cause of injury and death for construction workers in the Minnesota area and across the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, 849 construction workers lost their lives to worksite fall accidents. Construction sites are full of hazards that can lead to injury and death. Though workers are required to take precautions to avoid events that could cause them injury or kill them, accidents still happen.
There are a variety of factors that lead to fall accidents in the construction industry. The risk of serious injury is higher when the fall distance is greater than six feet. Nine percent of falls that occur in the construction industry are from distances less than six feet, though falls from distances greater than 16 feet are often fatal, states ConstructConnect.
Death is not the only outcome for falls that occur on construction sites. Injuries range in severity and include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Temporary and permanent disabilities
- Post-traumatic stress
To prevent fall accidents, workers must use proper work gear and fall prevention equipment. Employers must ensure their worksites are equipped with fall protection devices, such as safety harnesses, handrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets and other apparatuses to prevent fall accidents and fatalities from happening.
Construction accidents do not just affect workers. Their families must also deal with the devastating consequences. Many workplace accident victims face lifelong recoveries, mounting medical costs and other challenges that alter their standard of life.