Construction is a necessity in our growing world. As the population increases, more and more houses, stores and offices are needed to support this growth.
Construction, however, is a dangerous industry. There are so many dangers involved, with machinery, power tools, heavy materials, electricity, and heights. Heights are especially dangerous. In fact, falls are the main cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Most fatal falls occur when a worker falls to a lower level, such as a worker falling off a roof, ladder or scaffold. In 2017, out of 971 fatalities in the construction industry, 366 were caused by falls. Thousands more were seriously injured.
Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a Fall Prevention Campaign to help construction employers and their employees work safely and prevent serious accidents. Follow these fall prevention tips when working on a construction site.
Plan for When Construction Falls Happen
Planning and being organized are the first steps in a successful construction project. Before getting on a ladder or working on a roof, think about what you are doing. What tools will you need? What safety equipment will help you complete the task? Think about how you will complete the job, what dangers exist and what you will do to prevent these hazards.
Provide Equipment to Prevent Falls
Employers should always provide employees with the necessary tools to get the job done. This includes not only everyday essentials such as power tools, nails, screws, and ladders but also safety gear. Safety gear should be required when an employee is working six feet or higher above the ground. This includes personal fall arrests such as harnesses. Harnesses should be tied off to an anchor. Ideally, the harness should fit the employee and be inspected regularly.
Train to Proactively Prevent Falls
All employees should be trained on proper usage of the tools they use for their job. This is especially true for ladders and scaffolds. For example, ladders should always be placed on level ground with the metal braces in the center locked in placed to keep the ladder secure. Employees should always face the ladder and avoid actions such as overreaching and walking the ladder. Scaffolds also need to be stable. They need to be set up properly and employees should avoid standing on guardrails and climbing over cross braces.
Employees should also know when and how to use safety gear. Employers have a responsibility to provide training on these elements since a lack of training is a common cause of accidents on construction sites. Posters, fact sheets, and online training are all useful tools.
Call a Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer
Construction is a dangerous industry. Buildings are often multiple stories tall, and if a worker is not careful, they can suffer a fall that can lead to broken bones, head trauma and even death.
If you or a loved one suffered a fall on a construction site, you may be able to obtain financial recovery in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. The Falkowitz Law Firm can assess your case and determine liability. Schedule a free consultation by calling a Long Island Injury Lawyer today.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.