Trips and falls are a leading cause of injury in the workplace. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), slips and falls and trips and falls are actually the third leading cause of injury-related death across all industries. This is surprising to many people, as most people think of a trip and fall as a clumsy accident that may be embarrassing but isn’t life-threatening. In reality, workers who trip and fall can suffer serious and debilitating injuries. This is especially true on construction sites, where workers are usually surrounded by dangerous conditions.
The NSC also reports that 32,000 people in 2014 alone died as a result of a trip and fall at home or at work. In 2013, there were 595 worker deaths due to trips and falls, and more than 47,000 workers were hurt so badly in a trip and fall accident that they were forced to take time off work. Furthermore, trips and falls don’t necessarily have to involve significant height to cause major injuries. The NSC’s statistics reveal that 11 percent of the serious work-related falls in 2013 were from 20 feet or lower.
As the NSC report states, “Construction workers are most at risk for fatal falls from height — more than seven times the rate of other industries — but falls can happen anywhere, even at a ‘desk job.’”
It’s important to note that these types of trips and falls are “100% preventable,” according to the NSC. When a construction worker trips and falls, it’s typically because someone acted negligently. This is why it’s important for construction workers to discuss their rights with an experienced construction accident lawyer as soon as possible after suffering a trip and fall on a construction site.
What Causes Trips and Falls on Construction Sites?
Trips and falls are unfortunately common on construction sites. As anyone who has ever visited a construction site knows, they are usually noisy, messy, and dangerous places. Workers are exposed to numerous hazards, including tripping and falling hazards. These accidents can happen due to:
Spills on work surfaces
Tools or equipment lying around
Uneven walking surfaces
Accumulations of ice and snow
Loose or dangling electrical cords
Bunched up or worn carpet or another flooring
Lack of safety equipment
Insufficient safety training
This list is by no means exhaustive, and tripping and falling accidents on construction sites can happen for dozens of reasons. Each case is different, and it’s important for construction workers hurt in these types of accidents to act quickly to preserve evidence that can reveal why an accident occurred.
Steps to Take After a Construction Site Trip and Fall
After a trip and fall on a construction site, it’s important for construction workers to understand their rights. There are also several steps they should take to ensure they preserve and protect their legal rights.
Get Medical Help – In any personal injury accident, it’s important to make your health your first priority. After a trip and fall, many people have an instinct to jump back to their feet. It’s normal to feel embarrassed after tripping and falling, however, standing up right away can exacerbate injuries. If you’re badly hurt, you should stay down until medical help arrives on the scene. You should also avoid any delays in obtaining medical treatment. It’s important to begin documenting your injuries as soon as possible after an accident.
Take Photos of Injuries and the Site – Few people leave the house these days without a smartphone. If you have a phone handy, you can use it to take photos of the scene and your injuries. These pictures can be powerful evidence in any future personal injury cases. It’s also a good idea to continue taking photos of any injuries over the next few days and weeks, and certain types of injuries get worse over time.
Report the Accident – You should also report the accident to the appropriate authorities as quickly as possible. In some cases, construction management companies have their own reporting procedures. However, if you’re working on a construction site that lacks any official procedure, you can always file a report with the police. This establishes an official record of the accident, which can be an invaluable piece of evidence down the road.
Get in Touch with a Construction Accident Lawyer – Construction site trip and fall cases can be complex. In many cases, there are multiple parties involved, and some of these parties may be located in different states. No one should have to worry about how they’re going to pay their medical bills or cover their lost wages after a construction site trip and fall. You have important legal rights. An experienced construction accident lawyer can help you determine what to do next in your case.