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Construction falls: What can be done to prevent them?

In 2018, the most recent year for which full data is available, at least 320 construction workers lost their lives in workplace falls. Many others were seriously injured.

In this post, we discuss what can be done to prevent these injuries and deaths from happening.

Federal OSHA’s Plan For Prevention of Falls

At the federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been working to raise safety awareness and improve safety practices for several years. Their efforts seek to stop construction falls from roofs and other heights involving ladders and scaffolds.

One emphasis of OSHA’s plan is on safety equipment. Employers have a duty to provide proper safety equipment. To do that, employers need to factor those duties in when planning a job, so that personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) and other appropriate protective gear is available and used properly.

There is also an obligation to train employees properly to use this equipment. Training should also include training on how to recognize hazards on the job site effectively.

California’s Regulations on Fall Prevention

The state-level OSHA here in California also undertakes initiatives to prevent falls. Cal/OSHAs’ work, however, is not merely advisory. There are numerous California safety requirements to prevent falls on construction sites. There are separate regulations on:

  • Guard rails
  • Floor, roof and wall openings
  • Scaffolds
  • Safety nets
  • Personal fall arrest, restrain or positioning systems

If You Were Hurt

If you’ve been hurt while working as a contractor or handyman, then you should consult with an attorney. The reason that this step is so important is because liability isn’t always clear and may involve more than one party. Your California lawyer can sort out who’s to blame for your injuries and help you recover compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.