Falls Most Common Type of Fatal Construction Accident
The construction season is underway. With the economy slowly improving, more businesses may decide that now is the right time to start expanding their operations. Construction of new buildings can have jobsites filled with several types of different kinds of workers. While safety is usually a high priority, it is not uncommon for construction accidents to happen.
Unfortunately, when an accident does occur, the result is often tragic, especially when it involves a fall. Whether a building is simply a one-story office or a multi-story high-rise, workers need to take precautionary measures to help insure their safety.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the government agency responsible for creating rules to protect workers, has prepared materials for use in the construction industry that highlight the danger of falls for workers.
Falls accounted for 264 of the 774 fatalities that happened in the construction industry during 2010. Over 10,000 additional workers suffered injuries as a result of a fall.
OSHA wants employers and employees to be aware of the potential dangers. Besides falling to a lower level, either off of a roof or scaffolding, employees may fall into holes at the ground level. Jobsites must be set up in a way that prevents these sorts of accidents from happening.
The agency requires that harnesses or safety nets be used in situations where workers will be performing their tasks above ground. Employers must also be sure to put up railings or guardrails that will alert workers to locations where extra caution must be exercised.
While most construction is under serious time constraints, it is important to take steps to prevent accidents. Injured workers may be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits, but this is only after an accident happens. Putting the right plan in place can help reduce the number of people killed by falls every year.
Source: OSHA “Fall Prevention Campaign“