Falls to a lower level are the number one cause of construction-site fatalities. With proper safety training, site maintenance and the right equipment, these accidents are largely preventable. In order to educate construction workers and employers about these dangers and reduce annual construction-site injuries and fatalities, OSHA has enacted a national fall prevention campaign.
OSHA’s campaign serves to educate and raise awareness about falls from high places, such as roofs, ladders, and scaffolds. Of 828 total construction-related fatalities in 2013, 291 were due to falls. OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda to educate as many construction workers and employers as possible. By following three simple steps, construction-site falls can be easily prevented.
Three Simple Steps to Prevent Construction-Site Falls
- Plan: Any time work is being performed from a high place, proper planning is necessary to ensure safety. Prior to using ladders, scaffolds, or working on roofs, workers should know how to prepare for the task. They should have a full understanding of what will be involved, what safety equipment is needed for each step, and exactly how the job should be performed. Additionally, employers should include the cost of safety equipment in every job estimate. For example, personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) can be priceless when it comes to preventing falls for roofers.
- Provide: By providing the right equipment, the risk of serious injury and death from falls can be significantly reduced. Workers are most at risk for fatality when they are more than six feet above lower levels. Every job requires unique equipment. A certain ladder may be well-suited for one job but not for another. The same is true for scaffolds. The use of harnesses, personal fall arrest systems, and proper ladders and scaffolds, saves lives. In addition to providing the appropriate equipment, it is necessary to make sure the equipment is functioning properly and that wearable devices (such as the PFAS) fit comfortably.
- Train: Even the best equipment can be worthless when used incorrectly. Workers should be trained on proper set-up and use of all equipment. Additionally, training workers on how to recognize hazards, maintain equipment, and avoid dangerous situations, helps ensure a safe working environment. By following these simple steps, employers can reduce their risk of liability and workers can reduce their risk of serious injury and death.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Work Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured on-the-job, you have rights. Construction jobs have a higher risk of serious injury and death than any other occupation. However, there are a number of safety measures that can be taken to reduce this risk. When employers do not provide proper safety equipment and training, they may be liable if a worker is injured as a result of their negligence. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our team of accident and injury attorneys has been protecting the rights of Boston’s workforce for nearly 50 years. When negligence is not an issue, you are still covered for most work-related injuries. Workers’ compensation exists to protect employees from injuries sustained on-the-job, even if the injury was not a result of employer negligence. Our skilled, knowledgeable attorneys will review every detail of your case to determine the best strategy for moving forward. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free consultation about your case.