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Preventing Construction Site Falls: Fall Protection

Construction site falls are a well settled risk that workers face on an everyday basis. Falls at construction sites are the most frequent cause of serious injury or death at a worksite.

Review this if you want to learn more about your rights if you have been involved in a construction site fall.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (Occupational Safety mandates that fall protection be provided to any worker who is required to labor at a height of 6 feet or more in order to reduce the number of serious and fatal construction accidents.

People often wonder, what fall protection is and it is as good a time as any to explore this issue during OSHA's national fall prevention week. Fall protection is a multi-faceted concept. It is not just having the right equipment. Fall protection includes appropriate training, workers having an following clear procedures and rules, planning and equipment. The most common type of fall protection equipment include guardrails, harnesses, lanyards, lifelines and safety nets. There is an important distinction between guardrails, which will eliminate a fall if set up appropriately, and the remaining types of equipment which will arrest a fall that takes place.

This sounds simple enough, so why do construction site falls occur with such a great frequency? It is more expedient and less expensive to not use appropriate fall protection. Contractors, building owners and developers who encourage workers to labor without fall protection are prioritizing profits over people.

OSHA's National Safety Stand Down a seeking to raise awareness about fall hazards at construction sites. Their efforts ran from May 2nd to May 6th. According to OSHA, fatalities by Falls account for 337 of the 874 construction fatalities in this country. They state the obvious: those deaths were preventable. Their goal is to have this campaign reach as many as 5 million workers. If successful, it will help combat this critical, civil rights issue. Worker safety as something everyone should care about.

Block O'Toole & Murphy is a law firm committed to fighting on behalf of construction workers and their families. You can learn more about these lawyers and their results on behalf of the seriously injured by calling 212.736.5300.