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Why do falls happen at construction sites?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Construction Workers' Accidents |

Construction workers have dangerous jobs. Even when they’re following proper safety practices, there’s a chance that issues will occur. One of the possible events that can occur is a fall. Unfortunately, falls can lead to catastrophic injuries, such as brain or spinal cord injuries, as well as broken bones.

Falls can occur because of a host of reasons. Understanding these may help to mitigate the risks, which is critical for workers and their employers. 

Environmental hazards

Construction sites are often spread over several levels. These sometimes require the workers to use scaffolds or ladders. Workers may also have to work on elevated surfaces, such as on roofs or on areas that have unprotected edges. The risks of working in these areas are increased if it’s raining or windy because of the chance of slipping or falling. 

Inadequate safety measures

A lack of proper safety measures, such as guardrails, safety nets and fall arrest systems, significantly increases the likelihood of falls. Inadequate training on the use of safety equipment and failure to enforce safety protocols also contribute to the risk.

Equipment and structural failures

Faulty or improperly maintained equipment, such as ladders, scaffolds and harnesses, can fail and cause falls. Structural failures, including weak or unstable surfaces, can also lead to accidents. Any structure that’s erected on the worksite should be thoroughly inspected before each use to minimize the risk of the structure failing. If defects are found, the structure should be tagged out of service and unusable until it’s repaired.

Injured construction workers need urgent medical care, which should be covered by workers’ compensation. They may also be due other benefits, such as partial wage replacement. Working with someone familiar with these matters may be beneficial, especially when the case is complex.