Construction Industry Sees Rise in Fatal Elevator Accidents

Construction Industry Sees Rise in Fatal Elevator Accidents

Known for its high-rise apartments and skyscrapers, New York City sees its fair share of elevator-related accidents involving the general public, as well as accidents involving workers who use elevators in the course of performing job-related duties. According to a new statistical analysis, workers in the construction industry are injured and killed more frequently in elevator accidents than those in any other profession.

The Center for Construction Research and Training, known as CPWR, recently released a report detailing the scope of deaths and injuries involving elevators and escalators. The researchers used data from multiple agencies, including OSHA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

Here are some key findings from their analysis:

  • Between 2011 and 2016, 145 construction workers were killed in fatal elevator accidents – more than double the total number of deaths in all other industries combined.
  • Falls from heights were the leading cause of construction elevator accident deaths, accounting for more than half (53.5%) of all worker fatalities. Almost half of those falls (48%) were from heights over 30 feet.
  • Workers who install or repair elevators faced the greatest risks of suffering fatal injuries, with a fatality rate of roughly 15 per 100,000 full-time workers. Laborers experienced the most elevator-related deaths overall, with 31.
  • Workers employed by companies with 10 or fewer employees accounted for approximately one-third of all elevator-related deaths, and about 35% of workers killed in elevator accidents were under the age of 35.

The research goes on to note that fatal construction elevator accidents have steadily increased over the past 15 years – doubling from the 14 recorded deaths in 2003 to 28 in 2016. Fatalities peaked in 2015, when 37 construction workers lost their lived in elevator-related incidents.

Takeaways: Prevention, Protection & A Need for Compensation

In addition to providing a glimpse into the data, CPWR’s report highlights the tremendous dangers construction workers – especially those who install, maintain, and / or repair elevators – face when performing their jobs. Unfortunately, as the numbers indicate, many of the workers who suffer serious or fatal injuries in construction elevator or hoist accidents are young men under the age of 35.

Because many of these construction workers are breadwinners for their families, the report also utilizes the data to highlight areas of improvement in worker safety and accident prevention. That includes compliance with workplace safety standards related to fall protection systems, PPR, proper safety training, and adequate supervision and management.

As construction workers face risks on even the most ideal and safest of worksites, compliance with Labor Law and safety standards is absolutely vital to keeping workers safe. When contractors, property owners, product manufacturers, and others are negligent, however, those risks are exacerbated, and resulting accidents often leave workers and / or families at a loss when it comes to covering medical bills, mounting expenses, and limited to no income.

At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our construction accident lawyers serve injured workers and families across NYC and the state of New York after they suffer harm and losses in all types of incidents – from those involving falls and falling objects to preventable accidents caused by negligence, Labor Code violations, and defective and unsafe equipment, machinery, or tools. If you have questions about an elevator accident or any other construction-related injury, our award-winning team is here to help.

Contact us online or call (212) 577-9325 to request a free case review.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.