Several weeks ago, this blog commented on the accidental death of a Connecticut construction worker who died from injuries sustained when she fell through a hole awaiting installation of a staircase. Falls are becoming more numerous as a cause of worker deaths in the United States, and a pair of deaths in a construction accident in St. Louis is sparking greater concern.
The two workers in St. Louis were using a basket in an elevator shaft when the supporting cable snapped. The two men died in the fall. According to the workers’ employer, the cable and lift system had been fully inspected before the two men used the equipment.
An official with the American Society of Safety Professionals said that the organization and its members are spending more time and money on fall protection equipment but that the number of fatalities continues to rise. The official said that the amount of money spent to prevent falls has increased by 160 percent from 1995 to 2016 but the number of fatal falls per year increased from 561 to 849 over the same period. To dramatize the number of deaths, the official compared it to “several jumbo jets that would fall out of the sky every year.” The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is making plans to investigate the accident and if the contractor is held responsible it could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a construction site fall may wish to consult an attorney who is experienced in handling such cases for advice on the availability of workers’ compensation benefits and the likelihood of recovering damages by suing other responsible parties.