On any job site, it is possible for a worker to slip or fall, which could lead to injury. Employers are required to create a fall protection system and provide training to ensure that best practices are being implemented at all times while on the job. In addition to choosing the right fall protection system, employees need to be trained in how to use such system and proper supervision should be given during training.
A fall protection system should be used whenever a worker is exposed to a fall of more than six feet. Examples of systems that could be used include guardrail systems, safety net systems or fall arrest systems. To prevent falls while on the job, floor holes should be covered or guarded against at all times. If a floor hole covering is inserted, it should be able to support twice the weight of workers who may walk on it.
Falls from a ladder could cause serious injury to those who are using them. Prior to using a ladder, it should be inspected for any cracks or defective parts. The ladder should also be inspected to ensure that it won’t fall off of its support. The manufacturer of the ladder may recommend a maximum weight that the ladder can support, and employees face an increased risk of injury if this weight limit is exceeded.
A worker who suffers an injury as the result of a fall may in some cases be able to pursue legal action against the employer. If proper safety precautions were not taken, the injured worker may be entitled for compensation to cover medical and other costs. It may also be possible for the victim to win punitive damages if the employer was grossly negligent. An attorney may be helpful in assisting an injured worker after a construction accident.
Source: OSHA, “Preventing Falls“, December 10, 2014