Falls in the Workplace
Falls are considered one of the most common causes of serious workplace injuries and deaths each year. That is why it is the employer's responsibility to prevent employees from falling off any platforms or elevated work stations that could cause serious injury. Employees that work in manual labor jobs, construction jobs, or industrial work spaces are also at risk of falling into holes in the floors and walls where they are working.
One of the most common types of falls within the workplace is a ladder fall. These are falls off of high ladders used in construction, electrical work, and other occupations. OSHA says many workers can avoid ladder injuries if they:
- Choose the right ladder for the job
- Don't place ladders on uneven footing
- Don't stand on guardrails
- Don't climb scaffolding cross-braces
- Don't use ladders on top of scaffolding
- Always face the ladder when climbing
- Ensure that the ladder is secure
- Don't overreach when on the ladder
- Don't stand on the top step of the ladder
- Maintain three points of contact
- Ensure stable footing
- Inspect ladders before use
Another significant danger in construction, roofing, solar energy installation, satellite TV installation, and a variety of other occupations is the threat of a roof fall. Roof falls can also be prevented if workers:
- Don't disconnect their lifelines
- Never work around unprotected openings or skylights
- Don't use defective equipment
- Inspect all equipment before use
- Cover all holes or openings
- Ensure that their harnesses fit
- Wear harnesses at all times
- Use guard rails when necessary
Preventing Falls in the Workplace
In an effort to prevent falls in the workplace, OSHA has created suggestions for employers to follow. OSHA says that employers should make sure to guard every floor hole where a worker could walk with boards, floor covers, or rails. Also, they should provide a guardrail and a toe-board around any open sided platforms, floors or runways that are four feet or higher off the ground or the next level of the work space.
As well, employers need to provide guardrails in any locations where a worker could fall into a dangerous machine or piece of equipment, regardless of the height of the level. In addition to this, when fall protection equipment like harnesses, safety nets, stair railings or handrails are necessary, employers are expected to provide these options.
OSHA requires all employers provide working conditions free of unknown dangers, and train workers about job hazards in their native language when possible. OSHA also requires companies keep their floors clean and select / provide personal protective equipment when necessary at no additional cost for workers.
Contact Arnold & Itkin LLP today if you are looking for a Texas work injury attorney to help you.