Sadly, just four months after federal safety investigators cited an employer for failure to provide proper fall protection, an Illinois worker fell to his death at the same site. Prior to the fatal accident, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) cited the contractor twice for exposing workers to fall hazards. Unfortunately, safety violations of this nature are all too common putting workers at risk for injury and death.
Preventable falls account for nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the construction injury. OSHA’s fall prevention campaign urges employers to take three simple steps to prevent falls and save lives: plan, provide and train.
Careful planning of projects ahead of time helps to promote worker safety. If working from heights, employers should decide how the job will be done, what tasks are involved and determine what safety equipment will be needed to prevent injury to workers.
Next, employers must provide the necessary fall protection and equipment to employees tailored to the taskes to be performed. Fall protection might include guard rails or toe boards, floor hole covers, stair and hand rails and harnesses.
Lastly, employers must train employees on the proper use and maintenance of equipment and teach employees how to spot safety hazards and report problems.
Workers have a right to a safe workplace and employers are required by law to provide a safe and healthful work environment. If an employer fails in their responsibility, workers have the right to raise health and safety concerns or report injuries without fear of retaliation.
If you have been injured at work, contact the workers’ compensation personal injury Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help. Our lawyers have helped hundreds of Iowa workers obtain workers’ compensation benefits and we welcome the opportunity to assist you and your family.
Source: OSHA.gov, “OSHA Regional News Release”, accessed August 9, 2016.