The busy, cluttered nature of construction sites means that there can be numerous slip or trip and fall accidents for construction workers. According to OSHA, falls were the leading cause of death in the construction industry. In one recent year, fall accidents accounted for about 35 percent of all construction industry fatalities. If you work on a construction site, it is important to understand the risks of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents and what you can do to protect yourself from injury in one of these accidents. 

Types of Construction Site Fall Accidents

Construction fall accidents are categorized into two broad types: “same level falls” and “falls to lower level.” A same-level fall is what you might think of when you hear about a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. For example, a construction worker might slip on a grease patch or trip on a loose wire or cord strewn across the ground. 

A fall to a lower level is usually considered a much more dangerous type of fall than a same-level fall. Slip or trip and fall accidents can cause falls to lower levels when a construction worker loses their footing after slipping or tripping and falls off scaffolding, off a roof, downstairs, or through an opening in the floor or ground. Unfortunately, falls to lower levels have a much higher risk of causing catastrophic injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries. Falls to lower levels are also much more likely to be fatal. 

Common Causes of Construction Site Slip and Fall Accidents

Construction sites can be filled with numerous slipping or tripping hazards. Some of the most frequent causes of construction slip and fall accidents include:

  • Wet or slippery surfaces, either due to rain, snow, or ice on an outdoor construction site or spilled slippery or greasy substances that may be used in construction. 
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Loose cords or wires strewn across walking paths
  • Trash, debris, or other objects left on the ground
  • Broken or missing handrails

A lack of proper safety protocols can also increase the risk of a slip and fall accident. For example, safety protocols may require construction workers to promptly clean up any slipping or tripping hazards. Safety rules might also instruct workers not to carry heavy or bulky objects by themselves that can otherwise impede their view of where they are walking or that might disrupt their balance. 

Tips for Reducing the Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents

Construction workers and contractors can take numerous steps to reduce the risks of slip or trip and fall accidents on sites. These include:

  • Regular inspection of worksites to identify and address slipping or tripping hazards
  • Ensuring that workers always wear appropriate work boots and have all necessary safety equipment, including hardhats at a minimum but also possibly including fall protection equipment if the worker is working in an elevated spot
  • Training and reinforcement of safety protocols to ensure worker compliance
  • Fostering a strong safety culture, including encouraging workers to speak up whenever they observe a potential hazard

Contact a Rochelle Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Workplace Injury Case

A workplace injury can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws are supposed to provide you with reimbursement for medical expenses and replacement pay for missed time at work, it is not always easy to get the Workers’ Comp benefits you deserve. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients in Mahwah, Paramus, Ridgewood, Englewood, and all across New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation about your work injury case. Our main office is located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.