If you, like many people, make your living working on a New York construction site, you may have a firm understanding of some of the job-specific hazards you face every day when you clock in. Construction is an inherently dangerous industry, and there are inevitable risk factors you face when you regularly work from heights, with power tools and so on.
According to Safety + Health, data recently collected relating to construction worker accidents and causes revealed that falls continue to pose a serious danger to today’s construction workers. So much so, in fact, that in the 33-year period between 1982 and 2015, 42 percent of all construction worker deaths stemmed from falls.
A lack of protection
While you run the risk of suffering a broken bone, head injury, spinal cord injury or another type of injury anytime you fall from a height, your risk of a serious injury increases substantially if you do not have adequate protection when a fall occurs. While almost half of all construction fatalities within that 33-year period involved falls, more than half of the workers who died lacked appropriate access to fall protection.
More specifically, 54 percent of construction worker fatalities occurred when workers lacked access to a personal fall arrest system, which is a safety feature designed to reduce fall risks that typically includes a harness, an anchor point and a connector. While more than half of the construction workers who died simply did not have access to a PFAS, another 23 percent had access to such a system but failed to use it.
The inexperience factor
While a lack of fall protection is a major contributor to the nation’s number of construction worker deaths, inexperience, too, appears to play a role. Of the 768 recorded construction deaths that occurred between 1982 and 2015, 20 percent happened during a construction worker’s first two months of employment.
While falls should be a serious concern for anyone who works in the construction industry, they are, in many cases, preventable. Wearing the proper gear and using appropriate equipment is critical if you wish to maintain safety on a construction site.