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Falls take a heavy toll on construction workers

According to an analysis of statistics available through a government agency and other sources, construction workers in the Manhattan area, including Orange, Rockland, and Westchester Counties, as well as the Bronx, are at a high risk of getting hurt because of a fall.

This analysis concluded that falling to a lower level is, in terms of cost, the leading cause of injuries connected to construction workers' accidents. Falls to a lower level, such as from a ladder, scaffolding and the like, cost $2.5 billion each year, making up over 25 percent of the total cost of work-related injuries in the construction industry.

Likewise, workers tripping and falling on the same level cost an additional $1.35 billion, accounting for an additional 13 percent of the total cost of injuries each year. On a related note, workers slipping or stumbling but not actually falling also costs a little less than one half billion each year.

On the whole, the construction industry experienced over $189 million in injury-related costs every week. Much of this cost, about half, is due to workers falling.

Employers can do a lot for their workers when it comes to preventing falls. For example, in addition to making sure that safety and other equipment is well-maintained and scaffolding is erected properly, an employer can also make sure all employees get proper training on how to prevent falls.

A New York construction worker who gets hurt in a job-related fall may experience serious injuries. Injuries from a fall can include debilitating spinal cord injuries as well as moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. Fortunately, workers' compensation benefits are available to help New York workers and their families after a bad fall.

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