Preventing falls must be at the top of any construction employer’s mind. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), they are the single biggest cause of construction site deaths, accounting for just over one-third of total site deaths.
Many more workers suffer falls that do not kill them but leave them with catastrophic injuries.
It is easy to focus on people high off the ground when talking about falls. If they fall from a great height, they are unlikely to survive. However, they are perhaps less likely to fall in the first place because the risk is more obvious, so people do more to prevent it.
Harnesses are mandatory at height
Employees clipped in with a harness may slip, but their harness should stop them from going anywhere if they do. Employers must check and replace fall protection equipment according to recommended schedules and train workers to use it.
Damaging falls often occur close to the ground
Ladders are a quickly deployable tool to get to height. Yet they lack the safety of mobile platforms, scaffolding or harnesses and ropes. While there are circumstances where ladders are valid, employers should use alternative options where possible to increase worker safety.
If scaffolding is used, toe boards and guard rails are crucial to prevent anyone from stepping off and falling.
You can fall from ground level
Construction sites often have holes and trenches. Falling into one of them could result in bone breakages at the very least. These falls can even be fatal, especially if someone falls onto something in the trench or hole. Ground-level holes need barriers in place to stop someone accidentally wandering into them.
If you suffer injury in a construction site fall, it is crucial to find out more about your options to claim compensation.