Window Washing Accidents Target of Partnership

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) renewed the alliance with officials from the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA).

This Alliance focuses on preventing the risks that are associated with slip, trip and fall accidents, especially for workers who perform their duties from such heights. The Alliance also works to address the safe usage of high-reach access equipment, like ladders and scaffolds that are commonly used in the window cleaning industry.
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“We look forward to continuing our work with the IWCA to provide workplace training and education to help ensure that workers are aware of on-the-job hazards and reduce injuries,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers understand that falls are a persistent danger found in nearly all occupational settings. A fall can happen when you’re just walking around the office, it can happen when climbing a step stool or a ladder, or it can happen when scaling up the side of a building on a scaffold. The unfortunate truth of these kinds of accidents is that there were more than 600 workers killed in fall accidents to the same or lower level in 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were another 213,000 people seriously injured in these kinds of accidents during the year. Many of these accidents, injuries and fatalities can be prevented with a little bit of awareness, educations and safety training and equipment!

Because of the frequency and the severity of these accidents, Alliance members are going to make training and education programs aimed at window cleaning contractors. These same efforts will also be focused on those working with solar panels. Current safety materials and all future material will be translated so that these safety tips and stats can be shared with those workers who speak Spanish — which account for about half of the industry.

IWCA is a non-profit trade association that currently represents about 500 member companies around the world. These companies employ more than 10,000 people.

Fall injuries can result in quite the financial burden. Both workers’ compensation and medical costs tally about $70 billion year in the country.

There are simple ways that you can help to reduce the risks of these kinds of accidents at your workplace. You should:

-Make sure that all floors in work areas in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition.

-Make sure that all employees are trained in a language that they can understand.

-Make sure that all workers are provided with the proper personal protective equipment. This should cost the employee nothing.

-Whenever working from a runway, an elevated floor or a sided platform, there should be a guard rail and toe-board around.

-Be sure to guard every floor hole into which an employee can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).

Have you or a loved one been injured on the job? Contact the Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

North Carolina Work Safety: Generator Safety Risks, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 29, 2012

Works Accidents & Carbon Monoxide: An Undetectable Killer, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 26, 2012

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