While working on renovations at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston on Wednesday, a construction worker fell down an elevator shaft, suffering serious injuries. Those on the scene reported that the man fell in an area where renovations and construction work was being done.
The Houston construction worker was performing renovations on the third floor when the fall happened. He fell from the third floor and landed all the way in the basement. As a result of the fall, the man suffered a broken leg. Firefighters responded to the scene and the injured worker was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. He is reportedly in stable condition. According to reports, the cause of the three-story fall is still unknown.
The Danger of Falls in the Construction Industry
According to statistics provided by OSHA, falls are among the “fatal four” causes of workplace injuries and fatalities. They were responsible for 359 of the 899 deaths and countless more injuries that took place in the construction industry in 2014. Failure to provide proper fall protection in the construction industry is also one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards according to statistics from 2015.
In 2016, there have already been numerous fall accidents at construction sites in Texas. In New Jersey and Tennessee, two construction workers lost their lives after falling down elevator shafts in similar incidents to the one that occurred at the George R. Brown Convention Center earlier today.
It is clear that falls on construction sites are far too common. Compounded with the open drop in an elevator shaft, construction workers without proper harnessing or fall protection can suddenly find themselves in a deadly situation. Even as OSHA continues to push for stronger standards, these tragic falls continue to occur.