Kentucky Law Blog

Mark’s Notes on Legal Topics of Interest

Why are fall injuries so prevalent in construction?

Kentucky construction workers like you deserve to have a safe environment. Unfortunately, no work environment is ever entirely devoid of potential hazards. As a construction worker, you also face more risks than most.

This includes risks related to falls. But why exactly are fall injuries so prevalent in the field of construction? Most importantly, is there anything that can help rectify this sweeping problem?

Construction fall statistics
The National Safety Council discusses fall hazards at the workplace. Of 48,060 injuries in 2016, 24,700 of them were in the field of construction. Likewise, 384 of the total 697 deaths happened in construction, too. What is it that makes construction such a dangerous place for falls?

Height has something to do with it. You work at much higher elevations than most people. A fall from the top of a scaffolding can easily result in severe injury or even death. But a portion of deaths also occurred while the victim was still on the ground floor. This shows that elevation does not have everything to do with it.

Preventable causes of fall incidents
In a tragic twist, most if not all fall accidents are preventable. The primary causes for falls in construction include:
• Faulty or old and worn equipment not getting replaced
• Employers not paying for employees to attend safety seminars
• A lack of emphasis on following safety protocol
• A lack of proper safety gear
• Employees feeling rushed and coerced into doing faster jobs at the expense of safety

In short, many falls step from employers wanting to cut costs. They want to maximize profit, and do this by minimizing the time a project takes and keeping old equipment too long. This is why many people in your shoes go for worker’s compensation.

— On behalf of Mark Knight Attorney at Law