According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, during 2013, 294 workers within the construction industry succumbed to fatal fall injuries. The agency estimates that thousands of construction workers are injured each year in fall accidents making falls the number one safety threat for construction workers.
To help prevent fall injuries and deaths, OSHA has established the following fall protection rules for construction employers.
- Utilize appropriate fall protection equipment
- Employ safe work practices
- Educate and train employees on fall prevention tactics
- Increase supervision of employees at risk of suffering falls
OSHA recently fined a New Jersey construction company more than $52,000 after it was cited for a total of eight safety violations. An investigation into the construction company was launched after construction workers were observed working 25 feet off the ground without safety harnesses. These violations mark the second time OSHA has cited the company for a fall-related violation.
Federal regulations exist to protect workers in all industries from being exposed to unsafe working conditions that could result in a worker suffering an illness, injury or even death. In cases where an employer fails to abide by established regulations, workers may suffer needless harm, injury and pain.
Individuals who work within the construction industry are exposed daily to many hazards. These men and women frequently carry out assigned work while in close proximity to loud moving vehicles and heavy construction materials. Additionally, many are required to perform work duties from great heights.
Workers who have been injured in a construction accident are entitled to receive workers' compensation. In cases where an employer's actions helped contribute to the accident and resulting injuries, an individual may choose to talk to an attorney and take additional legal action.
Source: EHS Today, "OSHA: Contractor Exposed Workers to Fall Hazards at New Jersey Construction Site," Josh Cable, Sep. 2, 2014