When you make your living working in construction, you face numerous on-the-job hazards every day. While many aspects of the construction industry make it a hotbed for injuries and fatalities, research shows that almost half of all modern construction worker deaths result from falls.
According to Safety & Health, 42% of all construction worker deaths that occurred between 1982 and 2015 resulted from workers falling on the job. Additionally, more than half, or 54%, of those construction worker deaths occurred when workers lacked access to a personal fall arrest system, which is a critical construction site safety feature. Another 23% of the construction workers who died in falls during that 33-year span, meanwhile, had access to personal fall arrest systems but failed to use them.
It is also worth noting that many of the workers who lacked access to personal fall arrest systems and died in falls worked in similar environments. The majority of employees who died in falls and lacked personal fall arrest systems worked for residential building contractors or contractors that specialized in roofing, siding or sheet metal work.
While the number of construction workers dying in falls is troubling, so, too, is the fact that newer construction workers appear to face a particularly high risk of losing their lives under these circumstances. About 20% of construction worker deaths involve workers who have been on the job for two months or less, indicating that industry employees need to do more to properly train and protect their new hires. Find more about construction site accidents by exploring our webpage.