Construction workers understand that they are working in an industry that carries with it a wide variety of risks. From workplace injuries to work-related illnesses, construction sites can be considered unsafe work environments. Nonetheless, much has been done over the years to reduce the dangers associated with the construction industry. While training and safety equipment have worked to reduce those harmed or impacted by worksite dangers, this unfortunately has not worked to prevent some of the most deadly dangers at construction sites.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of fatalities among construction workers. These fatal injuries account for one-third of the on-the-job deaths in the construction industry. Because of the high rate of fatal falls, the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction was implemented back in 2012. This campaign not only encourages those within the industry to work safely, but it also emphasizes the importance of using the right equipment to reduce falls.
What factors lead to falls on construction sites? Roofs, ladders and scaffolds all pose serious risks to construction workers. With out the proper safety equipment and training, construction workers could suffer a serious fall. Workers not only need to understand how they can do their job safely but also understand the steps they can take to prevent falls.
Contractors and workers should continually plan to talk before a job and how they plan to work safely at heights. Additionally, contractors should and must provide the right equipment for when workers are working at heights, ensuring that they use the proper equipment. Finally, any time safety equipment is to be used or is added, workers need to be trained on how to use them.
The lack of training and use of fall prevention equipment are major factors when it comes to construction site falls. Thus, those harmed in a fall should understand their rights. Workers' compensation benefits are available to those harmed on-the-job. Additionally, family members of deceased workers have the ability to collect these benefits. Thus, it is important to understand how to apply for these benefits and how they could offset damages such as medical bills, lost wages and even funeral costs.
Source: Cdc.gov, "Construction Safety And Health," accessed on Oct. 22, 2017