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Construction fall deaths persists

Government agencies and safety advocacy groups have taken steps to combat construction negligence. A recent report showed that the number of construction fall deaths increased from 2011 to 2017. Falls are the top cause of construction deaths. From 2011 to 2017, all types of falls, slips and trips increased.

Deaths from falls grew by 45 percent from 2011 to 2017, according to a report issued by the North America Building Trades Unions. The number of construction workers also increased in that time and the number of fatalities from all causes dropped 2 percent from 2016 to 2017 among construction workers.

Falling from roofs, ladders, scaffoldings and staging were involved in almost 75 percent of deaths where the worker fell to a lower level. Scaffolding and staging falls accounted for almost 15 percent of deadly falls. Falls were a particular risk for small employers with less than 20 workers. These firms were involved in almost 75 percent of deadly falls from 2015 to 2017, even though these businesses made up only 39 percent of the construction industry.

There were 512 roofing contractor employee falls between 2011 and 2017, which placed this group at the top. Residential building construction was next with 365 deaths, while nonresidential construction was ranked third with 157 deaths from falls.

A fatal construction accident may constitute grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if negligence was the cause of the accident or if the contractor did not take reasonable precautions or utilize acceptable safety procedures. An attorney can help families seek compensation or damages in these cases.

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