As one of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths, contractors and construction professionals of the like should be extremely cautious when it comes to potential fall hazards. When it comes to these types of hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) takes these matters very seriously and will issue violations if employees are found to be at risk. To avoid being cited or facing a harsh penalty, employers should have safeguards and systems in place to prevent their employees from falling off of overhead platforms, ladders, stairs, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor or walls. If you have been issued an OSHA violation, it is advised to seek the legal advice of a licensed construction attorney in Lakeland.
How to Prevent Falls
OSHA requires all employers to provide their employees with a safe and hazard free work environment including keeping work conditions free of known dangers, keeping floors in work areas clean and dry when possible, providing personal protective equipment at no cost to workers, and providing proper training to employers in regards to job hazards. In the construction industry, employers must provide fall protection in the form of guardrails and toe-boards to prevent their employees from falling or getting injured when work is performed at elevations of six feet or higher or when employees are performing work over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the elevation.
Employers within the construction industry must also meet the following requirements:
- All holes in the flooring or walls must be guarded or covered using a railing and toeboard or a floor hole cover to ensure employees do not accidentally walk or fall into the hole.
- Any elevated, open-sided platforms, floors, or runways must be guarded by a guardrail and/or toe-board.
- Other forms of fall protection that may be required include harnesses, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.
What to Do In the Event of a Fall
If a fall accident that resulted in the injury or death of an employee has occurred on your construction site, it is highly recommended that you contact a Lakeland construction lawyer for legal consultation. Our experienced construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law have proven leverage and expertise in navigating the legal system. We can subpoena records, take depositions, file a lawsuit, or defend against a claim if necessary.
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.