Falls in the Workplace

March 26, 2019

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced recently that deaths in the workplace fell in 2017, dropping to 5,147 from 5,190 in 2016. The news was not all positive, however – fatal falls at work increased, and were at their highest in more than a quarter century. A total of 887 workers died due to falls in 2017, up from 849 the previous year.

Highest Fall Injuries

Occupations with the highest fall injuries are centered in construction. The BLS reports that jobs with the highest fatal work injury rates include:

  • Roofers
  • Steel workers
  • Electrical power line installers and repairers

In 2017, 747 construction workers died in work-related accidents, representing 14.5 percent of all fatal work injuries. Of those, one-third resulted from falls from heights. Workers employed by smaller companies were more likely to die, as were those employed by companies primarily using immigrant labor. Not surprisingly, these are just the sort of companies least likely to have good worker training and safety programs.

OSHA Fall Prevention Training Guide

In 2014, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released its Fall Prevention Training Guide. The guide addresses common safety and fall hazards, such as ladder safety, floor openings and skylights for roofers, the do’s and don’ts of personal fall arrest systems, and using nettings, scaffold design and maintenance, guardrails and other safety equipment. The guide and its fact sheets are available in English and Spanish on OSHA’s website.

Along with tips for fall prevention, the guide also supports getting workers involved in safety discussions. To do so, OSHA recommends:

  • Asking workers for their personal experiences regarding safety issues.
  • Sticking to the topic.
  • Ensuring everyone has a chance to talk or ask questions.
  • Never making fun of a question.
  • If unsure of the answer to a question, finding out and getting back to the workers.

New York City Leads the Way

New York City has lead the way when it comes to construction safety and fall prevention. The city not only mandates construction worker safety training, but has upped inspections of smaller construction projects. Criminal prosecution of employers who fail to maintain safe worksites is also a big incentive when it comes to worker safety.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates P.C. Help Workers Injured in Falls

If you or a loved have been injured in a fall while on the job, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.CWe proudly represent workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Our experienced attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you need, including payment for medical expenses and lost wages. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.

We proudly represent injured workers in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyPhiladelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum LynneDarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssingtonFolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztownLansdowneMediaMerion StationMortonNarberthNorristownNorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect ParkQuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper DarbyWest Chester and Wynnewood.