The New York construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy often discuss fall protection and how important it is that everyone at a construction site embrace it. Why is it critical? Fall protection, when used appropriately, saves lives. How often is it necessary? Falls from heights remain the leading cause of deaths and serious injuries at constructions sites. In a recent release by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a list of the most frequently cited violations was released and Fall Protection was at the top of the list. How can this be, given the stakes?
Fall protection is an insurance policy – – a plan for when a worker loses his footing or balance or slips or falls through uneven or unsafe flooring. It is supposed to prevent a worker from falling a distance that will lead to devastating consequences. Types of Fall Protection include: guarding every floor hole in the work area; providing a guard rail and toe board around elevated open sided platforms, floor or runways; safety harnesses; safety nets; stair railings and hand rails. The goal is for employers to provide a work place that prevents employees from being injured as a result of falls. Employers must make sure that the work environment is free from known work hazards and is clean and easy to navigate. Workers must be provided the appropriate safety equipment, including Fall Protection, and given the proper safety training at no cost.
All of this seems easy to process and understand. So, why do Fall Protection Violations again dominate OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Violations List? Why are falls at work sites the leading cause of serious injury or death? The answer is easy but frightening. Arming employees with the appropriate Fall Protection and making sure it is properly used during the work takes time and costs money. More succinctly, Fall Protection makes it more challenging to complete a job in the most expeditious manner. If it takes longer to complete the work, the owners and developers make less money. It is that simple. So, unwary workers are urged to work faster and safety is not a point of emphasis. That is why this continues to occur and will do so until there Is universal acceptance that safety is paramount to completing a job faster. It is also why laws like New York’s so called Scaffold Law are essential in preserving worker safety/
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have a long and proud history of helping and fighting for injured workers. They have amassed more than $700,000,000 in verdicts and settlements for serious accident victims, including an impressive array of results for construction workers. You can learn more about these committed lawyers by looking at the firm website www.blockotoole.com. For a free consultation, you can call them anytime at 212.736.5300.