Tips for Preventing Falls in Horizontal Construction Part 1

When thinking about construction on roadways or with underground utilities, we don’t immediately consider injury risks involving falls. However, the risks are as prevalent as they would be in vertical construction. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, 45 percent of fall incidents in this segment of construction come from falling off of trucks, construction equipment, and other vehicles. These incidents not only lead to serious injury and potentially death, they cause construction delays, increases in insurance fees, and claims which may require the assistance of a Tampa construction lawyer.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a number of best practices that when implemented, greatly decrease injury risks on the job site. Our Tampa construction lawyers work extensively with the companies conducting horizontal construction projects and have devised the following list of best practices.

Using a Horizontal Lifeline

One of the most common methods for preventing falls during bridge construction projects is the use of a horizontal lifeline. This consists of a harness that fits around the worker with a line attached to it that extends down to a base located on a work surface. Lifelines can be temporary for projects with short durations or permanent for continuous construction work.

Assessing Hazards and Getting the Right Equipment

Each project presents it’s own unique set of hazards. Prior to starting a project, it’s important to assess those hazards, including the locations of the hazards, and make sure that your crew has the right equipment.


The key to fall prevention is proper training. Several aspects of training must be covered before workers enter the job site. First, they must understand what hazards are present in their work space. They need know both how to spot these hazards and how to reduce, eliminate, or avoid them. They also should be trained in the proper use of fall protection and prevention equipment.

For more tips, visit part two of this series.

If you would like to speak with one of our Tampa construction attorneys, please contact us at 813.579.3278, or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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