Accidents involving falls are too frequent in the construction industry. There are many places from which a construction worker can fall while on a job site, including ladders, scaffolding, roofs, unprotected floors, and more. Hazards emerge continually in the normal course of demolition and building. However, data indicates that employers could do more to prevent falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspects job sites and issues citations when employers violate standards. Of the top 10 most commonly cited violations, five are directly applicable to reducing the risk of falls, including the following:
Fall protection in training requirements
Although occupational injuries, such as strains, sprains, and overexertion are more common, injuries caused by falling are often more severe, affecting vital organs, such as the brain and spine. Types of injuries caused by falls include the following:
Traumatic brain injury: A direct hit to the brain as a result of a fall can cause decreased cognitive function, language difficulties, and loss of motor skills.
Internal injuries: Internal bleeding may occur if the liver, stomach, kidney, spleen, or intestines are hurt in a fall.
Spinal cord injury: Workers who land on their back or directly on their feet after a fall can end up partially or totally paralyzed.
Each year, approximately four out of 10 construction worker fatalities are due to falls, many of which could have been prevented. The chances of surviving a fall from 50 feet are low. However, falling from as low as six feet can be fatal.
How to Reduce the Risk of Fall Accidents
Reducing the risk of fall accidents requires planning. However, investing time and money up front can actually save costs in the long run. Steps for preventing fall accidents include the following:
Regularly inspect job sites to identify hazards
Establish a procedure for promptly communicating hazards to workers
Provide harnesses, safety nets, and other personal fall arrest systems
Ensure sturdiness of scaffolding, ladders, and aerial lifts
Train workers to use the equipment properly
Even the best equipment cannot prevent workers from falling if they are not trained on how to use it. If aerial lifts are overloaded or not properly secured, they may tip over. Scaffolding that is not secure may collapse. Conducting hands-on safety training on a regular basis is crucial. This includes instructing workers on how to spot and communicate hazards, as well as the proper use of all safety equipment and systems.
The Hartford, Connecticut Lawyer at The Law Offices of James F. Aspell, P.C. Fight for the Rights of Injured Workers
Some employers still fail to put measures in place to mitigate the risk of falling, and fall accidents continue to occur, particularly on construction sites. If you or someone you know was injured in a Connecticut construction accident, contact a Board Certified Connecticut work injury lawyer at to find out if you are eligible for benefits. Our initial consultations are always free, and all cases are handled on a 20% Contingency fee basis.
We serve injured workers in Hartford, New Haven, Miuddlesex, Tolland and Litchfield Counties from our office in Farmington..
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