Work Injury Watch: Southeast Officials Pushing Fall Safety on the Work Site

The number of fatalities on construction sites is on an upward trend. More and more construction workers are being killed in accidents that could be prevented if better safety precautions were taken. For this reason, officials with the Southeast regional offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are working to increase enforcement efforts.

Officials are focusing on falls, which are one of the four top causes of worker deaths in the Southeast.
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The enforcement efforts start on the 20th of August. Officials will be looking for hazards on work sites that may cause a fall accident. OSHA officials will be conducting unannounced inspections on work sites throughout the area. Officials will also be immediately addressing the hazards they find during their inspections.

Our Rock Hill workers’ compensation attorneys understand that there were more than 600 employees killed because of fall accidents in the U.S. in 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were another 213,000 people injured in these same kinds of accidents during the year.

“OSHA’s goal is to raise awareness about fall hazards and eliminate those conditions that lead to employee deaths,” said Cindy Coe, OSHA regional administrator.

The construction industry continuously experiences the highest frequency of fall-related deaths year after year.

Common causes of work-related fall accidents:

-Slippery floors.

-Cluttered walkways.

-Unstable walking surfaces.

-Unprotected edges.

-Holes in walking surfaces.

-Openings in the wall.

-Unsafe ladders.

-Misused fall protection.

Fall accidents, injuries and fatalities rack up a heck of a lot of medical costs and workers’ compensation costs every year. Officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) estimate that fall accidents tally a bill of about $70 billion every year.

When you”re required to work from heights, like on roofs, scaffolds and ladders, your employer is required to make sure that the job gets done safely. This means that the job site and each worker is provided with the proper safety equipment that they need. Before accepting a job, employers and supervisors need to review the work site and determine what safety equipment is needed. When estimating the cost of a job, all of this information should be included.

Safety Tips to Prevent Falls:

-Make sure the safety harness is always connected.

-Make sure that your harness fits correctly.

-Make sure that all fall protections is inspected before use.

-Make sure that all openings, holes and skylights are guarded and covered.

-Never work near areas that you feel are dangerous.

-Never disconnect from the lifeline.

-Never use defective equipment.

Workers are urged to take a look around their work site. Make sure that your area or work is safe for you and what you need to do. If you think that your safety is in jeopardy, speak up and talk to your supervisor or your boss. Your company is required to make sure that you’re protected from work-related hazards, injuries and accidents.

If you have been injured on the job, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Fluorescent Bulbs a Workplace Hazard in North Carolina?, North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 7, 2012

Working From Home: Work Accidents Likely without Preparation, North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 6, 2012

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