Employees at Risk for Workplace Falls
February 9, 2016
Workers are at common risk for injury due to workplace falls. These falls can be the consequence of inadequate training and safety procedures, lack of protective safety equipment, faulty machinery and/or workplace equipment (i.e. scaffolding) and a variety of other factors.
If you work in a setting where a dangerous fall is possible (like if you often work on ladders or on scaffolding or at busy construction sites, for example), there are some important, OSHA-recommended safety tips and precautions that your employer should take to limit the chances for workplace injury or even death.
Falls while on the job are one of the highest leading causes of injury and death of employees. Even more startlingly, one-third of all workplace falls that result in the traumatic death of workers are ladder-related. Many other injuries that workers sustain are consequences of a lack of fall protection, exposure to holes, unsecured sides and wall openings. These injuries can occur while one is working in an elevated or a ground-level setting. Traumatic falls can result in a range of serious injuries, some of which may hinder future employment and wage earning as well as one’s overall quality of life. Although every individual should be protected at their place of work, employers do not always fulfill their legal obligation to care for the health and wellbeing of their employees. Due to this reality, OSHA has compiled the following list of tips and precautions for anyone who works in an environment where the risk of falls or even death is present.
Ways That Employers Can Protect Their Employees
Employers should ensure that you have a safe work environment by following these common-sense safety tips:
- Develop, implement and provide appropriate fall protection training and routinely reassess protection protocols in case they need to be updated
- Verify that all walking and working surfaces are structurally sound and able to support workers and equipment
- Ensure that the equipment you are using is well-maintained and does not appear to have any missing pieces and parts
- Train employees on safety equipment selection and proper usage
- Supervise employees
- Provide safety equipment (i.e. Fall Arrest, Safety Net and/or Guardrail Systems) if you are working on a site where there are holes or unprotected openings
- Cover all exposed holes on the jobsite so as not to risk tripping or falling
- Make sure that any ladders are properly secured against the surface it is resting on
- Limit amount of time on a ladder—remember: it is safer to take short breaks as opposed to being elevated for too long!
- Abide by the recommendations set for any product, do not exceed weight limits and make sure to abide by safety standards when setting up all equipment
OSHA’s full list of preventative tips and recommendations can be accessed here.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Workers Injured on the Job
If you were injured a workplace injury such as a fall, a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Galfand Berger, LLP can help. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.