blog home Construction Accidents Why Are Falls on Construction Sites So Common?

By Renee Nordstrand on January 20, 2024

A man wearing his construction worker outfit on the ground after falling off a ladder.

Construction sites are dangerous places, and falls are one of the most hazardous types of construction injuries. Almost half of all workplace falls happen in the construction industry, and over one-third of construction site fatalities are the result of falls. In a recent year, there were  92 construction accident fatalities in California, which is more than any other industry.

Employers are required by law to take active measures to prevent falls and other types of construction site injuries. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses put profits ahead of worker safety. When construction companies fail to take the necessary safety measures, workers suffer serious injuries and fatalities.

What Causes Construction Site Falls?

All types of construction workers may be placed in a position where falls can occur, including solar panel installers, metalworkers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, drywallers, and masons.

A worker doesn’t have to fall a great distance to suffer serious harm. Any time a worker is six feet or more above the ground, safeguards should be put in place to prevent injuries. Construction workers may suffer serious injuries by falling from roofs, ladders, scaffolds, lifts, elevated platforms, and buildings.

Frequent causes of construction site falls include:

  • Broken or missing guardrails
  • Poorly constructed scaffolding
  • Improperly rigged safety nets
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Cluttered walkways
  • Unsafe work practices
  • Lack of safety training
  • Improperly positioned ladders
  • Unsecured or poorly placed scaffolding
  • Ladders with missing or broken rungs
  • Fall harnesses with loose hooks, unsecured buckles, or frayed straps

How To Prevent Construction Site Falls

When it comes to protecting the health and safety of construction workers, there is no excuse for skimping on safety. It’s crucial for construction companies to implement safety procedures to prevent falls. Every job site should have a comprehensive safety plan and a safety officer assigned to make sure that correct practices are implemented and followed by workers and managers.

Protocols designed to prevent construction site falls include:

  • Personal fall arrest systems
  • Mandatory safety training
  • Posted safety procures
  • Regular inspections
  • Securely fastened scaffolding
  • Ladders and other equipment kept in good repair
  • Safety harnesses that are securely buckled and fastened to an anchor

What To Do if You Suffer a Construction Site Fall

Dial 911 right away if you’re injured in a workplace fall. Don’t try to move before first responders arrive on the scene because this could make your injuries worse. Report the incident to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. You can help strengthen your injury claim by using your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene and save records and receipts for all medical attention you receive.

Even though employers in California are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits for workers who suffer injuries or illnesses that arise out of or are caused by work, you will still want to contact a workers’ comp attorney if you suffer a construction site fall. Your attorney can make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and represent you if your claim is denied and you want to appeal.

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are not always sufficient to provide the support you need to cover the expenses that result from a construction site fall. Your personal injury lawyer may be able to seek additional compensation from third parties whose negligent actions contributed to your injuries, such as private contractors, property owners, vendors, and manufacturers of faulty equipment.

A claim or lawsuit filed against a negligent third party after a construction site fall will include these types of damages:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical devices
  • Occupational therapy
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Job retraining
  • Wheelchair ramps for your home
  • Wrongful death

You Won’t Owe Us Anything Unless We Win

If you were injured due to a construction site accident, contact the experienced trial lawyers at NordstrandBlack PC right away. Our Santa Barbara construction accident attorneys will review your situation and advise you on the best strategy for moving forward.

Independent rating agencies attest to the outstanding service provided by NordstrandBlack PC. Our firm has a perfect 10.0 Avvo score and an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Call (805) 962-2022 to schedule a FREE consultation today.