Report: Dangerous Uptick In Construction Falls - KMSP-TV

Report: Dangerous Uptick In Construction Falls

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When construction workers fall from steel beams perched high in the air or steep roofs families, co-workers and communities suffer. The government estimate construction worker falls costs big money in lost wages, medical bills and insurance costs.

FOX 29's Jeff Cole reports why federal safety watchdogs here are desperately trying to keep workers from plunging to the earth in devastating falls.

According to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the leading cause of death in construction. OSHA reports in 2010 there were 264 deaths.

This summer, Philly saw a dangerous uptick. OSHA locally says it gets an inspector to the site of a fall or even a complaint of a fall hazard as soon they received word, but it's an effort challenged by OSHA's roster of just 11 inspectors to cover the region.

The serious nature of worker falls both in the U.S. and outside the country are glaringly illustrated in videos posted on You Tube.

Fall protection is required on job sites, but companies sometimes bid jobs without considering the cost of protecting falling workers.

Workers injured in falls and their families were very skittish about telling us their stories. Why? They seemed to fear it could limit the money they'd receive in legal settlements unable to work that's money they may have to live on.

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