Falling is one of the most hair-raising sensations anyone can feel. Nothing is more terrifying than falling from a great height without ropes, parachutes, or nets to catch you. Not to mention the risk of injuries – or death – you can face when falling onto a surface.
And yet there’s one industry that constantly exposes workers to falling risks – construction. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has stated that falls are the number one causes of death among construction workers, responsible for 351 fatalities out of 1,008 recorded deaths within the sector in 2020.
If you’re a construction worker, you should know that all fall accidents are preventable and that construction companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of you and your co-workers.
Potential fall injuries
There are different scenarios in which a construction worker could fall. Situations like an unsecured ladder, a worker’s foot slipping and a lack of safety equipment can all lead to a fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that every one in five falls causes a serious injury. These injuries include broken bones and damage to the head. At best, a fall can leave you with several fractures that could take months to heal. At worst, your fractures could render your limbs unusable without support, or your brain damage could be fatal.
The safety responsibilities of construction companies
As previously mentioned, fall accidents are preventable, and it’s the job of construction companies to keep their staff safe. OSHA says that construction companies should be responsible for the following:
- Planning for safety: Construction companies must plan their projects to prioritize employees’ safety. This includes determining how a job will be performed and what safety equipment will be needed. The cost of a project must also consider the safety equipment required.
- Offering the right equipment: Just as a handyperson must use the right tool for the job, so must construction companies provide their workers with the right fall protection equipment. The right kind of safety gear, ladders, and scaffolding can make all the difference in avoiding falls. Harnesses must also be issued to every employee working on scaffoldings and roofing.
- Proper safety training: Companies should train employees to properly set up and use safety equipment. They should also educate staff on recognizing potential fall hazards on the job.
If you’re a construction worker suffering severe fall injuries, you can hold your employer accountable for negligence in safety measures if they fail to meet the above responsibilities. Consider hiring a lawyer to file a lawsuit against your employer for damages and their disregard for safety.