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Construction Site Falls Remain An Issue

9/9/2012 | Construction Blog

The Construction Research and Policy Center recently reported that falls on construction sites remain an issue. They are still the single leading cause of construction site fatalities, causing 1/3 of all deaths. The annual fall fatality rate is 3 per 100,000 among construction workers, a number six times that of deaths caused by texting while driving accidents.

There were 41 reported fatalities in the second quarter of 2011 and 2012. Of those, 19.5% were roof falls. If scaffold, structure, and other falls are included, that number jumps to 31.7%. The analysis also suggests some correlation between the accidents and OSHA violations. In one instance, there were 34 OSHA violations on the site.

The next closest fatality rates in construction for the quarter were structure collapses and crush or run-over incidents. Structure collapses recorded the biggest increase from last year, but that is largely because there were none in the same quarter in 2011.

Falls and electrocutions remain the first and second largest cause of construction site deaths on a year to year basis. Crush and run-over injuries are rising on an annual basis, however, and may soon surpass electrocutions.

Since the gross number of accidents are down across the board due to the slow construction economy, the lack of a proportional decrease in construction site fatalities is of concern. Leading safety experts in the field are hoping to continue to make construction site workers more aware of the safety hazards they face on projects and train them to work safely in order to bring the number of fatal incidents down.