The construction industry is a dangerous one, and construction workers across New York and the nation experience a high percentage of the nation’s work-related falls. A 2022 survey shows that inadequate planning and company policies have a considerable impact on the overall safety of a construction site and how likely a construction worker is to suffer a serious fall.
Per Construction Dive, falls have now become the top cause of death on construction sites.
How often construction site falls occur
In 2020, 353 construction workers lost their lives in falls to a lower level, which typically means they fell off a ladder or scaffold. Research also shows that workers are 2.7 times more likely to fall on a construction site when they work for a subcontractor, rather than a general contractor.
Data also suggests that proper training goes a long way as far as preventing falls on construction sites. When a worker fell, but had self-rescue training, that worker was 76% more likely to be able to survive the fall.
What causes construction site falls
Many construction site falls result from similar factors. Studies show that insufficient or ineffective planning contributes to more than 27% of construction worker falls. Another 21.7% of construction worker falls result from instances where fall protection was available, but not in use. More than 17% of construction site falls resulted from the improper use of fall protection, suggesting they could have been avoidable with proper training and regard for worker safety.
About 8.8% of construction worker falls result from employers failing to provide adequate fall protection, while about 13% result from the improper use of scaffolds, ladders or other construction equipment.
When a construction worker falls on the job, the employer may face sanctions from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or other entities.