Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with trade associations and employers throughout the Carolinas are conducting a one-hour safety stand-down at various work places and construction sites on August 6th. This stand-down has been organized to support the national outreach campaign from OSHA that is designed to raise awareness about the risks, consequences and preventative measures regarding workplace falls.
During this time, workers are going to voluntarily stop work from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. so that the work site can conduct safety training that is designed to help to prevent on-the-job fall accidents.
Our Charlotte worker’s compensation lawyers understand that there were more than 260 people who were killed in fall accidents in construction in the U.S. in 2010. These accidents accounted for a significant amount of the fatal accidents in the industry. When employees work from heights, like on roofs, ladders and scaffolds, employers are required to plan projects that ensure that the work is completed safely. In order to do this, employers are required to make sure that each worker has the proper fall protection and the right equipment to complete the job. But in addition to making sure that they have the right equipment, employers are also required to make sure that these workers are provided with the proper training to understand how to set up and use this equipment. These kinds of accidents can be avoided and we can save some lives through 3 simple steps: plan, provide and train.
“It is the employer’s responsibility to protect workers from injury and illness,” said Teresa Harrison, with the Southeast’s OSHA.
When workers will have to complete jobs from heights, it’s critical to make sure that it’s done so safely. Before you figure out the job, you need to figure out which safety materials are needed. This should be included in job costs.
For employees who are required to work six feet or more above the ground or above a lower level, they are to be provided with fall protection — in addition to the proper ladders, scaffolds and various safety gear. It’s critical for employers to determine which of these materials are best for the job.
Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers are required to make sure that each and every worker is properly trained regarding the job they are required to complete and regarding the materials and machinery they’re required to use to complete it. Some of these safety measures include ensuring that employees maintain three points of contact, never overreach, make sure that machinery and tools are inspected before each and every use, protect all holes, openings and skylights, and remember to equipment is always properly set up.
Falls are a persistent hazard found in all occupational settings. According to the 2009 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 605 workers were killed and an estimated 212,760 workers were seriously injured by falls to the same or lower level. Fall injuries constitute a considerable financial burden: workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with occupational fall incidents have been estimated at approximately $70 billion annually in the U.S.
If you or someone you love has suffered a work accident or injury, contact the Lee Law Offices at 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your right to benefits.
More Blog Entries:
Computers, Blackberries, iPads: New Technology and Repetitive Stress, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 30, 2013
Airport Work Safety: OSHA Cites TSA, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 27, 2013