The most common cause of worker injury in New York City is falling. There are thousands of ways to fall here, often from great heights.

Even minor falls — from a single stair or off a curb — can lead to temporary or permanent disabilities.

Statistics from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities tracking system show that falls were the fourth leading cause of occupational fatalities from 1980 through 1994. Over that period, 8,102 deaths from falls occurred. They accounted for 10 percent of all on-the-job fatalities — an average of 540 deaths per year.

The U.S. Department of Labor lists situations that often lead to construction worker injury:

  • Unprotected sides, wall openings and floor holes.
  • Improper scaffold construction
  • Unguarded protruding steel rebar
  • Misuse of portable ladders

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says it is preferable, from an injury standpoint, to emphasize proactive fall prevention systems like guardrails, over fall protection systems, such as safety nets.

Accidents happen

Even with a preventive and protective approach to eliminating fall injury, injuries will continue to happen because of the essential danger of construction work. When you are injured in a fall while working, it is important to work with a workers’ compensation professional who knows the intricacies of the law, and who will protect your interests with skill and vigor.

Injured workers and surviving family members look to Marder, Eskesen & Nass when accidents happen and gravity does what it does.