One of the most common construction accidents resulting in death is falls through unprotected holes in flooring. Often times, holes in flooring are not properly marked, without safety barricades or covered and secured resulting hundreds of serious injuries and deaths to workers on those floors and workers below as well. Falls account for the greatest number of deaths in the construction industry each year. Employers who fail to take precautions such as safety nets, use barricades or require the use of harnesses put their workers at risk of serious injuries and death from falls through holes in the floor.

In many construction site death lawsuits our law firm will bring a lawsuit against building owner, general contractor and all sub-contractors involved in creating the open hole, allowing the open hole to exist, safety engineers, including any company or person responsible for site safety or OSHA compliance.

According to OSHA, falls account for approximately 35% of construction worker deaths every year. Within that 35% of construction deaths and accidents, unprotected edges, falls through floor holes and wall openings, misused fall protection, and falls to lower levels in partially complete buildings are responsible for a number of workers deaths. Work safety requires that employers eliminate job hazards and take reasonable efforts to protect construction workers from life threatening falls through unprotected floor or wall openings. OSHA requires employers to control the following:

  • Floor holes that can be accidentally walked into should be guarded with either standard railing (including toe boards) on any exposed side, or be secured and covered with appropriate warning signs. Safety nets, personal restraint systems and fall arrest systems should also be used when necessary to prevent falls through holes in floor.
  • Wall openings that have a 6 foot or greater drop and where the bottom of the opening is less than 39 inches from the above working surface should be restrained with guardrails, safety nets, and other safety systems as needed.
  • Ropes, barricades and toe boards should be provided whenever there is a wall opening which is less than 4 inches above the working surface or whenever work is being performed on a floor or wall opening.

Fall protection measures for holes in the floor or other fall risks are often not adequately assessed when beginning construction work. It is the employer’s and contractor’s responsibility to make sure appropriate fall protection measures are taken for any fall risks not limited to holes in floors or walls but additionally providing safety measures like stair railings, handrails, and safety lines.

Unfortunately some employers fail to appreciate the severity of injury or death that can result from accidents from relatively low heights; in fact a majority of deaths from falling in construction come from heights of less than 10 feet. Either the appropriate safety harnesses to prevent falls through holes or adequate training is not provided to employees. Other times, employers neglect language barriers and do not provide proper training in the worker’s language and they are less able to protect themselves or understand the severity of the danger involved in their labor.

Falling through holes in roof, skylight openings or falling through holes in floors and walls can result in serious and debilitating injuries that can last a lifetime and/or death. Falls through floors injuries include broken feet, ankles, legs, and other fractured bones, back injuries, spinal injuries, crushed and severed spinal cords, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, neck injuries, paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia. Injuries like these often require long term medical care for the rest of the worker’s life preventing the worker from returning to work temporarily or permanently.

Fallen Through a Hole? Contact a Lawyer Today

If you or your loved ones have suffered a severe and debilitating injury or death caused by falling through a hole or wall on a construction site, the Willis Law Firm is here to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to. Often construction accident lawsuits including falls through holes must be immediately filed to protect the evidence at the scene and other critical evidence needed to win the lawsuit and damages for the clients. An investigation conducted by the lawyer can determine if there was a malfunctioning product as a result of defective design or installation. Call for a free case evaluation. Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with over 30+ years of accident and injury lawsuit experience.

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