How can injuries occurring from slip and falls on a construction site be prevented?
According to OSHA, “Historically, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for about one-third of all fatalities in the industry.” A frequent cause of workplace injuries, these incidents often occur in the form of falls from scaffolding, falls from roofs, falls from ladders, cranes, and other workplace equipment. If you have been injured in an on the job accident at a construction site, contact Stern Law Firm now for your free consultation.
There are several things employers can do to prevent falls on construction sites, including:
- First and foremost, always adhere to the guidelines that OSHA sets. OSHA understands that, “incidents involving falls are generally complex events, frequently involving a variety of factors.” which is why they set the standards that they do. Following OSHA’s guidelines is an integral part in avoiding construction site accidents and injuries.
- Before any project begins, employers should assess the jobsite to determine that all walking and working surfaces/platforms have the structural stability and strength to safely support workers and equipment.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to familiarize yourself with all potential fall hazards on a work site.
- Keep work areas well lit.
- Maintain clear, tidy work areas free of clutter.
- When needed, employers should have a thorough fall protection plan that uses appropriate fall protection equipment, like guardrail systems, safety net systems, and personal fall arrest systems. OSHA states that,”the use of fall protection (is necessary) when construction workers are working at heights of 6 feet or greater above a lower level. It applies at heights of less than 6 feet when working near dangerous equipment.” Never work in an area where fall protection systems have not been installed. In the event that a worker falls, or some other serious injury occurs, the employer must investigate the details of the injury to determine if the fall protection plan needs to be changed.
- Employers are responsible for training employees on appropriate regulations and safety measures for ladders, scaffolds, and roofs
- Always wear proper footwear with good traction. While slipping may not sound like a horrible accident, it can be very dangerous and can cause serious injury. Why? Slipping causes you to fall, and falls can easily result in getting knocked out unconscious, broken bones and even more serious injuries. Depending on your work environment, slipping can mean falling to the ground, accidentally falling onto machinery or even chemicals. Wearing slip-resistant boots can help you avoid serious work-related injuries.
- Scaffolding should be inspected to ensure stability and integrity. When working on scaffolding, or any elevated platform, workers should be properly tethered to prevent a slip or fall from happening.
- Secure ladders properly by tieing them to a secure point on the top and bottom.