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Construction Site Fall Accidents: A Common Cause Of Injuries And Deaths

This week we covered the story of a Gary, Indiana, man who was seriously injured in a fall accident while on the job. The man, who worked for U.S. Steel, fell 25 feet while operating a transfer car, fracturing his hip and suffering several other broken bones.

Unfortunately, fall accidents are one of the most common types of construction site accidents and industrial accidents in Indiana – one out of three construction accident injuries and deaths are the result of falls. Many falls happen during the construction of commercial buildings, residential homes, or manufacturing plants. Other falls take place during the construction of towers and bridges. Here are just a few recent fall accidents that have occurred in Indiana:

•    In June, a construction worker died while panting the inside of a tank at a Knox County power plant. The man fell 40 feet from scaffolding onto the concrete below.
•    In November, a construction worker died after falling 50 feet from the Indianapolis Convention Center. Four different companies were fined for safety violations after the man fell from a metal construction lift.
•    In January, an Indiana construction worker was seriously injured after a fall though a hole at a construction site in West Lafayette. The man broke his arm in the 10-foot fall.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that a large number of construction site and industrial fall accidents can be prevented through the use of training, safety precautions, and safety equipment. The OSHA believe that using fall prevention methods in conjunction with each other is the best way to prevent fall accidents and fall injuries, such as the use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). The most common types of construction site fall accidents include:

•    Falls from scaffolding
•    Falls from ladders
•    Falls from roofs
•    Falls while erecting structural steel
•    Falls while completing external carpentry, masonry, or painting