Falls are the leading cause of worker injuries and fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Falls on construction sites result in countless lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries every year. In an effort to prevent falls, OSHA requires employers to provide fall prevention and protection equipment and training at construction sites across the country.
The proper safety equipment can mean the difference between a simple slip and fall accident and a serious or even fatal fall. Employers are responsible for providing all the necessary safety equipment workers need to perform their job with minimum risk of falling.
When working more than six feet off the ground, construction workers should utilize harnesses, safety nets, guardrails, or lifelines when moving around the job site. Skylights and other openings should be covered or otherwise secured.
There are several simple ways to prevent falls from ladders. Ladders should always be the right size and type for the job at hand. Ladders should be sturdy and placed on flat, stable ground, with three points of contact.
Proper safety training helps to prevent falls from scaffolds. Scaffolding should be inspected before each use and placed on level ground. Workers should never climb cross-braces on the scaffold. Guardrails on scaffolds provide added stability for workers.
Preparation and vigilance can reduce the risk of ground level falls. Construction debris should be removed from work areas on an ongoing basis. Guardrails should be installed around hazardous machinery and dangerous chemicals.
If workers do not receive proper training, the safety equipment they use is ineffective. Every construction worker needs thorough safety training on how to prevent falls and stay safe on the construction site. OSHA provides employers with countless resources for educating workers about the risk of construction falls and how to prevent them. When workers are taught how to spot fall risks, they can avoid them.
Unfortunately, not every fall on a construction site is avoidable. In some cases, an injured worker may have grounds to file a third-party liability claim against an outside person responsible for the construction accident. A third-party liability claim is either filed against the third party’s insurance policy, or in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury claims may provide compensation to cover pain and suffering, and loss of normal life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, there are several potential avenues for recovering damages. Our experienced New Jersey construction accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP will consider every option and make the best decision for you based on your case. Call us at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your situation.
With offices in Edison, New Jersey, Toms River, New Jersey, and Red Bank, New Jersey, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP proudly serves clients throughout the state, including Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Essex County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Mercer County, and the towns of New Brunswick, Asbury Park, Middletown, Brick, Newark, Elizabeth, Union, Morristown, Somerville, Bridgewater, Chatham, Summit, Westfield, and Livingston.