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Steven M. Lee, PC

Elevator Shaft Falls for Construction Workers

A look down the elevator shaftEvery year, Texas workers become victims of avoidable construction site accidents, including elevator shaft falls. Elevator accidents can result in severe injuries or death to the construction workers tasked with installing or working around them.

Causes of Elevator Shaft Falls

Most elevator shaft falls could have been easily prevented had the shaft been properly covered or barricaded. Common causes of a fall down an elevator shaft include:

  • A lack of posted warnings. Hazards on construction sites should be marked to warn workers about potential safety threats. Any open elevator shaft should have clearly posted warnings.
  • Lack of situational awareness. If workers are distracted as they attempt to move materials or equipment, they may inadvertently walk backwards into an open elevator shaft.
  • Unprotected openings. The installation of guardrails or safety nets can prevent falls and save lives.

Consequences of Elevator Shaft Falls

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the top cause of death for construction site workers, accounting for 38.8 percent of employee fatalities in 2015.

Plummeting down an unprotected elevator shaft is more likely to result in lifetime injuries, paralysis, or death than most other types of construction site falls. Since elevator shafts are narrow and long, fall victims may sustain scrapes, bruises, and broken bones from striking the sides and floor of the shaft. If a worker doesn’t have appropriate safety equipment, spinal damage, head trauma, brain injuries, and even death are likely. Furthermore, the risks of severe injury or death are compounded by delays in obtaining medical treatment. The design of the structure and the safety procedures that must be observed when removing a fall victim from an elevator shaft can result in significant delays.

Elevator Accident Law

Due to the detailed and complicated laws and codes governing elevator shaft installation, the field of elevator accident law is complex. If you’ve been injured in an elevator accident, you need an attorney experienced in the application of these laws. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.


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