Construction Falls

New Jersey Construction Fall Injury Lawyers

Representing NJ construction workers injured in falls

Falls are the leading cause of construction worker injuries and fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Falls on construction sites result in countless lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries every year. Those who have sustained serious injuries, or who have lost a loved one in a fall at a construction site may have grounds for a workplace injury claim.

At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, our award-winning workplace injury attorneys have the singular mission to recover compensation for you.  After a workplace injury that was caused by negligence, you will have questions about your legal options. Our NJ construction injury attorneys have answers and we offer guidance on what your next steps might be. Schedule a free consultation to get the answers and insight you need about your construction site injury case today.

 How prevalent are construction site injuries?

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous for workers. OSHA reports that there were 4,693 worker fatalities in private industry in 2016. Of those, 991 or one in five worker deaths in 2016 were in the construction industry. OSHA has identified the construction industry’s “fatal four” most common causes of death in construction and they include:

  1. Falls: 384 of the 991 deaths in construction (38.7%)
  2. Struck by an object: 93 (9.4%)
  3. Electrocutions: 82 (8.3%)
  4. Caught-in-between: 72 (7.3%)

If these four types of injuries were to be eliminated, it would save 631 worker’s lives each year in the U.S.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reported on data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program, which created a searchable database using fatality reports from 768 fatal construction industry accidents. Researchers found after analyzing the fatal incidents that:

  • 42 percent (325) of the fatalities involved falls.
  • 54 percent of the workers killed had no access to a personal fall arrest system, and 23 percent had access to a PFAS but did not use it.
  • Most of the workers with no access to PFAS (personal fall arrest systems) worked for residential building contractors and contractors in the roofing, siding, and sheet metal sectors.
  • 107 of the 325 falls were from 30 feet or higher.
  • 20 percent of the 768 deaths occurred in the victims’ first two months on the job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BOL) reports that there were 101 fatal workplace injuries in New Jersey in 2016, which is up by four from the previous year.  In NJ, the private construction industry had the highest number of fatalities with 20, which is the same as the previous year. Falls accounted for 12 worker deaths in construction.

Preventing construction falls in NJ

The proper safety equipment can mean the difference between a simple slip and fall accident and a serious or even fatal fall. To prevent falls, OSHA requires employers to provide fall prevention and protection equipment and training at construction sites across the country.

Employers are responsible for providing all the necessary safety equipment workers need to perform their job with minimum risk of falling. When working more than six feet off the ground, construction workers should utilize harnesses, safety nets, guardrails, or lifelines when moving around the job site. Skylights and other openings should be covered or otherwise secured. There are several simple ways to prevent falls from ladders. Ladders should always be the right size and type for the job at hand. Ladders should be sturdy and placed on flat, stable ground, with three points of contact.

Proper safety training helps to prevent falls from scaffolds. Scaffolding should be inspected before each use and placed on level ground. Workers should never climb cross-braces on the scaffold. Guardrails on scaffolds provide added stability for workers.

Preparation and vigilance can reduce the risk of ground level falls. Construction debris should be removed from work areas on an ongoing basis. Guardrails should be installed around hazardous machinery and dangerous chemicals.

Worker training and construction falls

If workers do not receive proper training, the safety equipment they use is ineffective. Every construction worker needs thorough safety training on how to prevent falls and stay safe on the construction site. OSHA provides employers with countless resources for educating workers about the risk of construction falls and how to prevent them. When workers are taught how to spot fall risks, they can avoid them.

Recovering damages after falling on a construction site

Unfortunately, not every fall on a construction site is avoidable. In some cases, an injured worker may have grounds to file a third-party liability claim against an outside person responsible for the construction accident. A third-party liability claim is either filed against the third party’s insurance policy, or in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims may provide compensation to cover pain and suffering, and loss of normal life.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal construction fall, our NJ wrongful death attorneys can protect your right to recover compensation for your loss.

NJ worksite lawyers helping injured construction workers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, there are several potential avenues for recovering damages. Our experienced New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP will consider every option and make the best decision for you based on your case. Call us at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your situation.

With offices in Edison, New Jersey, Toms River, New Jersey, and Red Bank, New Jersey, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP proudly serves clients throughout the state.