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U.S. sees increase in fatal construction falls

Construction work can carry dangers with it. As we discussed in a prior post, construction sees a particularly high level of workplace fatalities. A recent Center for Construction Research and Training report indicates that, in recent years, one type of fatal construction accident has especially been on the rise: fatal falls.

According to the report, there was a 36 percent increase in construction worker fatalities involving falls between 2011 and 2015. In comparison, construction industry deaths as a whole went up 26 percent over this same period.

A construction worker doesn’t need to fall from staggeringly high heights to be at risk of suffering fatal injuries. According to the report, falls from 20 feet up or less made up over half (55 percent) of fatal falls. So, whatever height they have their workers work at, it can be critical for construction companies to give fall prevention proper attention.

Why do you think fatal construction falls have been going up at a faster rate than construction fatalities generally in recent years? What do you think would go the farthest in helping to cut down the number of fatal falls in construction?

Thankfully, not all construction falls end in deaths. However, just because a workplace accident doesn’t end up costing a worker their life doesn’t mean the accident won’t have big impacts, such as impacts on the worker’s future and their family.

Whether or not the injuries end up being fatal, when a California construction worker is hurt in a workplace fall, what happens with workers’ comp matters related to the incident can have big implications for the individuals whose lives were impacted by the accident. Skilled workers’ compensation lawyers can advise workers hurt in falls at construction sites on compensation matters. They can also advise families of victims of fatal construction falls on issues related to workers’ comp death benefits.

Source: Safety+Health, “‘These are real people behind the numbers’: Fatal falls in construction on the rise,” May 10, 2017

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