Why Do Falls Happen at Construction Sites?
Construction workers are often at risk of falling and suffering severe or fatal injuries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one-third of the deaths in the construction industry occur due to trips, slips, and falls. While some slip, trip, and fall accidents at construction sites are unpreventable, many of these accidents are avoidable. Employers should adopt proper safety procedures and ensure workers have the right equipment and training. It is also vital that construction workers know of the factors that contribute to slip, trip, and fall accidents so they can stay safe.
Common Causes of Falls at Construction Sites
The following are some of the most common causes of slip, trip, and fall accidents at construction sites;
Lack of Sufficient Construction Fall Protection
Employers have a duty to provide construction workers performing their jobs at heights with equipment that reduces the risk of falling. Yet, lack of sufficient construction fall protection is one of the leading causes of falls at construction sites. The type of equipment an employer should provide workers with depends on the kind of work being done and the equipment being used. Examples of fall protection that employers can provide their workers with include;
- Safety nets
For example, a lack of guardrails can result in a construction worker falling from scaffolding.
A ladder may not be as high as scaffolding, but falling from a ladder can be just as dangerous as falling from scaffolding. For example, after a construction worker falls from a ladder, they can suffer a severe traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. Ladders should be frequently inspected to ensure, among other things, that workers are using the proper ladders and there aren’t any broken rungs.
Improper Use of Ladders
A construction worker can get involved in a slip, trip, and fall accident even if a ladder is safe if they use it improperly. For example, if a construction worker fails to position a portable ladder properly, they may slip, trip, and fall.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards
The following are some of the hazards that can lead to falls at a construction site;
- Paint spills
- Loose boards
- Loose nails sticking up from boards
- Crowded walkways littered with materials, tools, and other workers
Falls from roofs are quite common at construction sites. Unfinished roofs present, among others, the following dangers to workers;
- Unguarded roof edges
- Falls through openings, such as skylights
- Falls along the part of the roof under construction
You Can Recover Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Slipping, Tripping, and Falling at a Construction Site
After slipping, tripping, and falling at a construction site, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer and recover benefits. It is crucial that you contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after you slip, trip, and fall at a construction site so they can advise you accordingly.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries while working on a construction site in Illinois, contact our skilled Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law for legal help.