Philadelphia Construction Accident Attorney Discusses Fall Prevention at Construction Sites March 13, 2013
By Peter M. Patton, Esq
Falls remain the leading cause of death in construction, accounting for one-third of all construction related deaths, according to a recent report from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). Responsible construction firms know how to prevent falls through proper planning, the use of the right equipment and appropriate training. Nonetheless, unsafe construction practices continue, according to Philadelphia personal injury attorney Peter M. Patton, of Galfand Berger, LLP.
Planning for fall protection begins at the bidding stage of a project, according to OSHA. OSHA construction regulation 1926.501 requires employees to be protected from falling at heights 6 ft. or more above the lower level. Before construction begins, contractors must plan what fall protection measures should be taken so that they can get appropriate equipment. For example, construction contractors need to figure out how workers will gain access to their work throughout the project.
There are a variety of ways to protect workers. Construction contractors can provide temporary stairways, ladders, scaffolds and aerial lifts, set up in a safe manner. Construction contractors can also pre-punch holes in steel beams to receive cables or horizontal lifelines. Contractors can embed anchors in concrete structures to serve as the anchor point for fall arrest systems.
Construction contractors must address construction safety as the project progresses. Contractors must ensure that guardrails are provided at locations along the edge of the building and at openings inside the building under construction. Contractors must also inspect equipment and regularly repair or replace it when parts are worn, broken, frayed or otherwise damaged.
Out of 4,114 worker fatalities in private industry in 2011, 17.5 percent were in construction. Falls caused 251 out of 721 total deaths in construction in 2011. OSHA requirements concerning fall protection are among the most frequently cited OSHA regulations. These include:
Galfand Berger has represented many individuals hurt in falls at construction sites. Knowledge of OSHA regulations and safety rules for construction sites is important for an attorney representing injured workers. If you have been injured as a result of a construction site fall or other type of accident, contact Peter Patton of Galfand Berger, an experienced, knowledgeable construction accident attorney with offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem and Reading, Pennsylvania. He has handled countless construction site injury claims throughout Southeast Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg and Allentown accident cases, as well as South Jersey injury lawsuits in Camden, Burlington, Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Call 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact him online.