This blog recently discussed the dangers of construction accidents for construction workers and the dangers of fall-related construction accidents to construction workers. Several hours from Utica, a New York City construction worker was recently seriously injured when a piece of construction material struck him in the face. The falling piece of construction material that struck the worker was dropped by another construction worker at the construction site.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides detailed, comprehensive advice for Utica employers about how to protect construction workers from fall accidents. But still, falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders continue to claim the lives of more and more construction.
Of course, ladder falls are only one type of fall injury that can occur on a given construction site. Falls from roofs and scaffolds, falls through holes, and even construction injuries from falling objects are regarded similarly by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration in terms of the need for fall protection on a construction site.
Utica residents are used to seeing construction workers operate in some spectacular settings, including extreme heights. The other side of this image, however, is the statistic that falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders and other similar elevations are the leading cause of death in the industry.
400 construction workers injured in New York: this is the estimated total for 2015, nearly double what it was the previous year. While construction sites present a number of risks to workers, the main cause of death in the industry is falls from roofs, scaffolds, ladders or other elevations. Nationwide, falls on construction sites killed nearly 300 construction workers in 2013.
New York residents are familiar with grim stories from the old days of construction. More than two dozen workers perished during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge; 60 died while working on the original World Trade Center. Regulations have been implemented since then in an effort to protect construction workers, but data suggests the problem continues in New York State.
Utica residents might expect that the higher the profile of a major construction project, the greater the attention paid to workers' safety. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders are a danger no matter how great the visibility of the construction site.
It's no secret that Utica construction sites can be dangerous places to work. You've got industrial-grade power tools throughout the site. You've got massive, heavy vehicles moving in all directions. And you've likely also got chemicals and other compounds that need to be handled with the utmost care.
Let's move from our discussion of heat illness into territory that is, perhaps unfortunately, likely to be more familiar to our Utica readers. Construction workers, as we've noted in the past weeks, are indeed susceptible to heat illness with the often heavy equipment and gear they wear outdoors in hot weather. But they are also susceptible to falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration takes a special interest in falls that injure workers at construction sites. As we've seen in recent weeks on our Syracuse workers' compensation law blog, there are a number of reasons why falls from roofs, scaffolds or ladders warrant greater attention in the community, including the severity of injuries and the complexity of a claim for compensation.