Falling from Significant Heights on a Construction Site

Jeff Varcadipane

October 28, 2022

Falling from Significant Heights on a Construction Site

New Jersey construction sites are amongst the most dangerous in the nation. In the construction industry, falls accounted for 805 deaths and 211,640 non-fatal injuries (requiring time off work), in 2020 alone. In fact, falls account for one-third (1/3) of preventable, non-fatal injuries.

Any instance of a construction worker falling from a significant height will most likely result in serious injuries or death. If you or a loved one have suffered from a fall on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. The legal team at Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC has the experience you need to guide you through the legal process. 

First aid support accident in site work, Builder accident fall scaffolding to the floor, Safety team help employee accident.

Top Reasons Falls Occur 

Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in construction, so much so that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated fall hazards as part of the “Focus Four” Hazards Training Institute. This program is designed to prevent injuries and deaths among construction workers.

According to the program, the most common causes of falls are:

  • Improperly covered or protected floor holes;
  • Lack of fall protection;
  • Lack of handrails or guardrails;
  • Unsecure scaffolding; 
  • Unsafe positioning and securement of portable ladders; and
  • Inadequate training.

OSHA estimates that 2.3 million workers (about 65%) work on scaffolds as a regular part of their job. Scaffolds are a leading cause of falls in the construction industry given their height and instability.

Given the risks of construction sites, even with all safety measures in place, a construction worker can still sustain injuries or possibly die from a construction accident.  

Common Injuries

Since construction employees are usually at high levels while working, their injuries are usually more severe. 

Construction workers may experience a number of injuries including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Eye injuries

When construction worker is injured, there is a good chance that they will require hospital treatment. In a recent year, 18,900 U.S. workers who fell from a height had severe enough injuries that they required a trip to the ER.

Workers’ Compensation versus Third-Party Liability 

A construction worker has the option to file for workers’ compensation even if they are partly or entirely at fault for their own injuries. This makes New Jersey’s workers’ compensation a “no-fault” insurance program. 

Anytime a worker is hurt due to the error of another, the responsible party should pay. Even if a worker has filed a workers’ compensation claim, they may still be eligible to file a claim against a third party under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law (N.J.S.A. 34:15-40). Under these circumstances, the worker has to prove the third-party, such as their employer, was liable for their accident-related injuries. 

A New Jersey or New York injury lawyer will be able to assess your situation and determine who is responsible for your injuries.

Contact a New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyer Today

Construction sites are the most treacherous workplaces. It only takes one careless mistake to cost someone their life. If you have been injured or someone dear to your heart has suffered an injury, you need a relentless advocate on your side. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We strive to get you back on your feet.

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