North Carolina Fall Accidents Targeted by New OSHA Policy

There is going to be six more months of enhanced enforcements on residential construction to help to prevent work-related accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere. The recent announcement was made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) as it declared that the extension of the new enforcement efforts would now go through the 15th of September. These temporary measures include increased outreach, measures to assure consistency, extended abatement dates, penalty reductions and free on-site compliance assistance.
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Every year, more construction workers are killed by on-the-job falls than in any other kind of work accident. Over the last year, OSHA has worked diligently with the construction industry to reduce these risks. The Administration has conducted more than 1,000 outreach programs across the county. These programs are used to help companies more easily meet the requirements of the new directive. OSHA has no intention to stop either. The agency will be continuing its work to help employers get a clear understanding of the new policy and how to meet the safety standards it lays out.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys understand that the new directive was issued by OSHA to help protect those performing residential construction activities. The new guidelines replace Instruction STD 03-00-001. The new directive, 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13), specifies that employees who work in this industry and work at heights of at least 6 feet in the air are required to have the proper fall protection. These fall protections can include personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems or guardrail systems.

The New Fall Protection Plan Requires Employers To:

-Create, implement and enforce a fall protection program.

-Provide employees with training regarding the requirements of the fall protection program.

-Evaluate the program regularly to make sure that it’s effective. Programs often need to be changed and updated to meet the ever-changing requirements of the job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 800 people killed while working in the construction industry. Of these fatalities, falls accounted for nearly 40 percent of them, making work-related falls the most common fatal accident in the industry. In addition to these fatalities, there are approximately 150,000 construction work-related injuries every year.

Workers who are between the ages of 25- and 34-years-old are the ones who are most likely to be injured on a construction site. Most of the injuries are to a worker’s trunk, spine or back. Nearly 20 percent of workers compensation costs are spent on employees who are injured while working on a construction site.

Common Falls and Workers Compensation Costs:

-Roofing falls: About $110 each.

-Carpenter falls: More than $97,000 each.

-Falls from ladders on scaffolds: Nearly $70,000 each.

If you, a coworker or a member of your family has been injured on the job in Asheville, Rock Hill or elsewhere throughout the Carolinas, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential appointment. Call 1-800-887-1965 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about your claim today.

More Blog Entries:

Office Safety Important for Reducing Workplace Injuries in Winston-Salem, elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, January 24, 2012

Fatal Work-Related Accidents in North Carolina Up from Previous Year, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, January 18, 2012

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