Among its many functions, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researches and offers statistics on occupational injuries affecting construction workers. The agency is charged with identifying health risk trends and helping to improve the lives of Americans. When it comes to workers who are hurt and killed because of falls on the job, the stats are staggering.
According to the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nearly 10 million people worked in the American construction industry in 2016 -- that's about three percent of the total population. If you or someone you love works construction, it is important to understand the importance of vigilant safety awareness and to know the causes of common injuries.
Thousands of workers fall each year
In New York City, dozens of workers die each year, many of them from falls; most of these deaths can be attributed to a lack of concern for worker safety on the part of builders and contractors. But the CDC's national statistics include much bigger national numbers:
- Of 1,533 studied fall deaths that occurred between 2011 and 2015, 33% involved falls from roofs, 24% were caused by falls from ladders, and 15% were falls from scaffolding.
- In 2010 alone, there were more than 18,000 falls on construction sites.
- Laborers, roofers and iron workers are listed as among the most vulnerable to falls.
- Falls from the same level (such as trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall incidents) also can be dangerous and disruptive. Falls that don't involve heights cause about 40% of all non-fatal fall injuries.
What to do if you or your family member is hurt
A fall can be a life-changing event for a worker and their loved ones. If your family has been affected by a fall on a construction site, get legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you protect your legal rights, which might include the right to money damages for your injuries and losses.