Plan, provide and train. Those are the three key steps employers must take to reduce the risk that their workers are injured due to a fall from height.
Falls are the number one cause of workplace fatalities in the construction industry. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 320 workers lost their lives in 2018 due to falls on construction sites. Many more were injured.
Most falls from height are avoidable
While accidents can happen, if all employers complied with the OSHA regulations related to working at height, they could avoid many workplace falls. Let’s look at the three steps OSHA recommends in more detail.
- Plan: By planning work, employers can assess the hazards involved and make sure they take steps to minimize the risk of working at height for their employees.
- Provide: Once employers understand a particular task’s risks, they should provide the necessary safety equipment. That includes personal equipment such as helmets and harnesses and general equipment such as ladders, toeboards and scaffolding. The job should not go ahead unless all the equipment is in place.
- Train: Employers have a duty to ensure people working for them understand the hazards and know how to minimize the risks. Knowing how to use the equipment provided is essential to this.
A fall from a height on a construction site could leave you with severe injuries. While you can file a claim for workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of why the accident happened, it is better to take steps to avoid the accident in the first place. Remember that OSHA gives you the right to report workplace dangers. You have every right to refuse if you feel a task your employer asks you to carry out is unsafe.