In this five-part series, OSHA defense lawyers with Cotney Construction Law are discussing the most common hazards that impact construction sites. In the first part, we provided an overview of this series and also listed a few benefits of partnering with an experienced construction lawyer. In this part, we will focus on one of the most common physical hazards in the workplace: falling hazards.
Falling injuries are the primary cause of death in the construction industry and are among the most frequent violations of OSHA standards that result in a citation. Scaffolding, ladders, and roof systems pose an imminent threat to construction professionals. Along with the risk of working at a high elevation, this work environment also requires working on unstable surfaces where falling could result in serious injury or death.
Contractors should consider the following ways to prevent a fall injury at their jobsite:
- Gear: Contractors should constantly be monitoring the equipment and gear that their workforce is utilizing on the job. This also includes new gear being introduced to the jobsite that may not feature the same high-level of fall protection as the equipment that is in regular use. Along with regularly inspecting the condition of the gear and discarding damaged items, there should never be a one-size-fits-all mentality towards gear being provided to workers.
- Training: Unfortunately, many jobsites have no formal training process in place for teaching employees about fall protection. Employees should be trained on fall protection techniques including how to work on certain surfaces while utilizing the right equipment. Contractors need to perform their own research and understand fall protection requirements. Additionally, workers need to be regularly audited to ensure they are compliant with these requirements.
- Planning: Before beginning work on a project, contractors should outline the areas of a jobsite that require additional fall protection. For example, it may be best to invest in a platform to help prevent an accident from occurring. Contractors that cut corners could find themselves needing the assistance of an OSHA lawyer.
In the hectic world of construction, there are a myriad of hazards that can affect a jobsite. You would be hard pressed to cover every type of hazard that could potentially jeopardize a construction site; however, there are some hazards that are extremely frequent on jobsites. We will continue to cover these issues in parts three, four, and five.
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.