The safety measures that protect workers against job-related falls are not always taken, resulting in the highest death toll from falls in recent history, according to recent news reports. In 2017, almost 900 workers fell to their deaths, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
Falls reportedly accounted for 17 percent of all job-related fatalities in 2017 and 40 percent of all construction fatalities. Among smaller construction companies, the statistics were higher. Companies employing 10 or less workers accounted for more than 60 percent of fall-related deaths during 2011 to 2015. During that same time period, “fatal falls more than doubled in residential construction,” according to the Center for Construction Research and Training.
What are the causes of worker falls? The story cited several possible factors:
- The construction boom following the recession may have brought inexperienced workers.
- Safety programs may be lacking at smaller construction companies.
- Some employers simply ignore the safeguards, opting to pay repeated fines than the costs involved in investing safety programs.
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for enforcing safety and investigating violations, its team of 2,100 inspectors is responsible for approximately eight million job sites. To help address the problem, OSHA initiated a safety training campaign, beyond what is required by law, for nearly one million workers in 2018.
If you or a loved one has suffered a fall on the job, consult attorneys who represent workers in job-related falls. We work to ensure injured workers receive compensation for lost and future wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering, and that the negligent parties adopt safer work practices and training. For more information, contact us.