From the years 1992-2009, some astounding data was conducted and it was determined that falls from roofs accounted for one-third of fall-related construction fatalities. Some of the highest ranges of these fatalities stemmed from workers employed by small establishments, residential construction workers, Hispanic workers and immigrant workers. In these years, 20,498 occupational fatalities occurred in the construction industry alone! It was determined that all roofing contractors should take special safety measures such as having a written fall protection program that specifies what type of fall protection is provided on the job.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration recognizes falls as the leading cause of death in construction. They also believe that there are some easy and reasonable steps that can be taken to eliminate these accidents from happening. It is OSHA’s duty to provide information about how employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. There are three main steps that should always be considered, which are to: plan, provide, and train.
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Plan: When heights are involved in a construction job, employers must plan the projects to ensure that the job is done as safely as possible. It is always a good idea to consider what safety equipment will be used for the job as well as what tasks will be involved at these heights. An employer will be able to predict what involvement heights will play in a particular project and plan to provide the best equipment to get the job done, such as personal fall arrest systems.
Provide: Employers should always work to protect employees who are working six feet or more above lower levels, because they are at the greatest risk of sustaining a fatal fall. This means that they must take proper scaffolds, ladders, and safety gear into consideration. Equipment should always be inspected as well. For instance, if you are using a personal arrest system, your employer should always conduct regular inspections of fall equipment to make sure that it is in good condition and safe to use.
Train: Employers must always take care to train their employees in all matters of safety such as hazard recognition and safe use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and more.
Prevention and Safety Matters
OSHA supports prevention and safety in the workplace and feels that it is their duty to help employers provide the correct materials to you, the employee, at all costs. Their specific safety regulations require employers to always remove any hazards from the workplace, provide safe tools and equipment, inform employees about regulations, and provide safety training manuals. So, what can you do to take charge when your employer, a property manager, or a contractor is failing to implement these standards in the construction workplace? What if you believe there are hazards posing a risk to you and other workers and you believe you could sustain a fatal fall as a result?
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If you have been injured due to a fall at a construction site, you should report the injury to your employer. However, if you believe that your dire situation needs immediate legal attention, then you should contact an attorney you can trust with your case. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for more information on what you can do. We want to help you take charge and work toward the compensation you deserve.