COVID-19 AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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Understanding Fall-Related Deaths by the Numbers

As we’ve discussed throughout 2020, construction firms that can combine time-tested practices with new technologies and research will see the most success in the industry moving forward. One such way roofing contractors can create a safer workplace is by reviewing recent database information and implementing this intel into their safety plans. A recent database system created by researchers analyzed 33 years worth of fatalities in the construction industry, and the information compiled from this study is surprising when it comes to fall-related deaths and fall protection equipment

In this brief article, we will review some of the consistent trends researchers found and provide you with some insight into the safety practices you can implement to help prevent falling deaths on your jobsite. Remember, for legal advice, including safety-related measures, consult the roofing lawyers with Cotney Construction Law. 

Analyzing Statistics From the Construction FACE Database

We all know that roofing contractors are aware of the great risks associated with falls. What these professionals might not know is that falling deaths account for nearly half of all worksite fatalities. Utilizing data from the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program, researchers reviewed 768 reports for construction and roofing industry falling deaths over the timeframe of 1983 to 2015. They then created a searchable database referred to as the Construction FACE Database.

Here are the key statistics taken from the four decades worth of fatality reports:

  • 42 percent of the fatalities found in the reports were for falling deaths
  • 54 percent of those deaths stemmed from a worker not having access to a fall protection system 
  • 23 percent had the access they needed but elected not to use fall protection
  • The majority of these deceased workers either worked in the residential building sector or for roofing, siding, and sheet metal companies 
  • 20 percent of all the fatalities were for individuals within the first two months of employment

The Lessons We Can Learn From This Study

Here are the four key takeaways roofing contractors can take from this study:

  1. Falling deaths have been by far and away the most common form of fatality on jobsites for over forty years.
  2. Over half of these deaths occured because the employer failed to provide their workers with the safety measures they needed to perform their job safely.
  3. Nearly a quarter of these reported falling deaths happened because a worker either wasn’t required to wear a fall protection system or refused to wear one.
  4. Workers within their first 60 days of employment are the most common fatalities. 

Roofing contractors need to create a culture of safety that ensures every employee has access to the resources they need to remain safe, including access to fall protection equipment. Employers should provide toolbox talks and hands-on training to all employees, especially those new to the job. They also need to monitor their jobsite and require all workers to comply with fall protection requirements. To ensure your jobsite is complying with safety standards, consult the attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.  

If you would like to speak with an experienced roofing attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.