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Which Safety Regulations Prevent Falls on Construction Sites?

June 21, 2018 |

construction site

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous work environments, and falls from heights are the leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction, and though it may sound counterintuitive, they are especially common among residential construction workers. Though these smaller projects may not involve the same towering heights as those involved in corporate and commercial projects, they still have the potential to be deadly.

The statistics on the personal injuries sustained as a result of falls are shocking: more than 200 construction workers are killed each year, and there are over 10,000 serious injuries.  The safety regulations that have been put in place by OSHA require certain steps from employers, including:

  • Provide working conditions that are free of known dangers.
  • Keep floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.
  • Select and provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to workers.
  • Train workers about job hazards in a language that they can understand.

Beyond these regulations, there are specific steps that employers can take to prevent personal injuries from befalling their employees. By recognizing that the three most common types of falls on construction sites happen when workers are on roofs, ladders, and scaffolding, employers are encouraged to take the following preventive steps:

Roof Fall Prevention

  • Have employees wear a harness and stay connected while on the roof
  • Ensure that harnesses fit well
  • Employ guardrails or lifelines
  • Inspect all fall protection equipment prior to each day’s use
  • Guard or cover all holes, openings and skylights

Ladder Fall Prevention

  • Make sure that the correct ladder is chosen for each project
  • Make sure that all three points of contact are in place before ascending or descending a ladder
  • Secure the ladder
  • Never climb a ladder unless you are facing it

Scaffold Fall Prevention

  • Use fully planked scaffolds
  • Ensure proper access to scaffold
  • Plumb and level
  • Complete all guardrails before permitting employees on scaffolding
  • Ensure stable footing is included in the scaffolding assembly
  • Inspect scaffolding before use each day

The keys to making sure that employees are safe and that the risk of fall injury has been minimized rest on planning ahead, providing the right equipment, and making sure that all employees have the proper training. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a construction site fall and you believe that your personal injury was the result of negligence, contact us today to discuss your rights. We are here to help and get you the compensation you deserve.