Report Finds Elevator-Related Fatalities Rising

Source: Dmitry Kalinovsky -123RF

A recent report by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) shows that 145 construction workers were killed in elevator-related incidents from 2011 through 2016 – more than twice the combined total for all other industries.

Falls to a lower level were the leading cause of elevator-related construction deaths, accounting for 53.5 percent of the fatalities; nearly half of the fatal falls – 47.9 percent – were from heights of 30 feet or more.

Other findings show that:

  • Workers installing or repairing elevators had the highest fatality rate, at 14.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Laborers experienced the most fatalities, with 31;
  • Workers in organizations with 10 or fewer employees comprised 33.8 percent of the fatalities;
  • 35.2 percent of the fatally injured workers were younger than 35; and
  • Annual elevator-related fatality totals trended upward between 2003 (14) and 2016 (28), peaking at 37 in 2015.

The report includes injury prevention strategy recommendations from CPWR, OSHA and NIOSH, including:

  • Guidance for fall protection systems;
  • Personal protective equipment, and
  • Safety training and management.