A report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that out of 1,015 fatal construction injuries that occurred in 2021, 393 of them were due to a fall, slip or trip.
Of all the hazards at construction sites in New York City, falls are the predominant concern that workers must face daily. To ensure proper safety at these sites, it is important to understand that there is more than one type of fall that workers may encounter.
An elevated fall occurs when a worker tumbles from an elevated position, such as a ladder, scaffold or platform. Often induced by slips, trips or missteps, these falls can be fatal or result in severe injuries ranging from fractures to concussions.
To mitigate the risk of elevated falls, construction workers need proper safety gear, including harnesses and helmets. Additionally, regular inspections of equipment and work surfaces are also necessary.
Even on the ground with stable terrain, same-level falls are a danger to busy workers. Common causes include slippery surfaces, cluttered walkways and uneven ground. Although the fall is not from a height, same-level falls can result in severe injuries, including sprains, fractures and head trauma.
Regular removal of debris, prompt cleanup of spills, and the use of proper footwear help prevent these types of falls and contribute to a safer environment. Worker training in recognizing and mitigating potential hazards is also important.
By implementing tough safety measures and fostering a culture of awareness, employers can contribute to a safer work environment and reduce the risks associated with these types of falls.