Construction worker falls into a 42-foot hole at a school construction site. A construction worker falls into a 30-foot tank at a solid waste plant. A construction worker dies after falling four stories at a construction site.
These are just a few of the types of fall accidents that occur on jobsites across the country on daily basis. Our OSHA defense attorneys understand that fall prevention is essential, but what you do after a worker falls is equally important. Read this four-part article for a refresher on fall prevention and the importance of a fall rescue plan.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. According to research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 42 percent of construction fatalities were the result of falls. Of those killed, 54 percent of them were not wearing a personal fall arrest system. According to OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign, employers must plan ahead to ensure projects will be performed safely, they must provide workers with OSHA compliant fall protection, and they must train workers to use the equipment safely.
Employers who fail to provide safe working conditions, personal protective equipment, or job-specific training to their workers are in violation of OSHA health and safety standards and would benefit from the counsel of an experienced OSHA attorney from Cotney Construction Law.
Does Your Workplace Have a Fall Protection Plan?
There are a number ways to protect workers from a fall. The first line of defense is the implementation of a fall protection plan. A fall protection plan is specifically for those who will be working at heights and outlines how workers will go about using fall protection, techniques, and equipment. The plan should address the following:
- Identifying all existing and potential fall hazards in the work area
- The fall systems/equipment workers will use to complete their tasks
- Procedures for assembly, disassembly, maintenance, and inspection of fall systems/equipment
- Handling and securing systems/equipment
- Training requirements and methods for workers
- Procedures for a fast and safe rescue of an injured worker
It’s important to note that plans must be jobsite specific and available to every worker.
In part two of our article, we will discuss the importance of a rescue plan and the meaning of prompt rescue. In part three we will talk about suspension trauma. Part four will focus on what to consider when developing your plan and the types of rescues workers perform.
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.